Trade Secret and Confidential Information Litigation:  It’s All About the Facts

HNW Business Law, Covenants Not to Compete and Restraints

Most companies require employment agreements for important executives, high-level management and key personnel to protect trade secrets and confidential information. Employment Agreements which prohibit disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information are legal in NJ and will be enforced, if not unreasonable. New Jersey law allows for issuance of an injunction by the courts to protect a company’s trade secrets even without a post-employment agreement. State and Federal Trade Secret Laws The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act and the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, provide New Jersey businesses with some powerful laws protecting trade secrets.   The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act offers strong remedies to businesses in the event an employee sets up to leave with confidential information …

Leaving an IRA to a Loved One? How to Avoid a Tax Bomb

HNW Applying for Medicaid Long Term Care Benefits, Elder Law

An IRA trust is a terrific way to protect your IRA from wasteful spending by beneficiaries if you die Federal IRA tax laws require that an IRA trust be set up correctly to avoid costly mistakes This article explains the in’s and out’s of setting up an IRA trust to reduce Federal and New Jersey income taxes Income Tax Planning for Your IRA I recently read an interesting article on IRA’s and the importance of tax planning with beneficiary designations including the creation of IRA trust for protecting wealth from wasteful spending.  If this article speaks to you, call me and let’s discuss. Here Are Excerpts from the Article Which Explains a Trust for an IRA You wouldn’t leave your …

Selecting The Right Person(s) to Be the Guardian of Your Child(ren)

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning, Guardianship Law

Deciding who should be the guardian of your kids is a tough decision Close family members are not always the best choice This article discusses “What To Think About” when selecting a guardian for minor children Questions Parents Should Ask About Guardians for Their Children Here’s a good question I was recently asked by a father when discussing his last will. “We’re worried about what will happen to our minor child(ren) if anything happens to my wife and I”, he said “Are grandparents automatically her guardians?  We don’t want that for our daughter because my parents are too old, and my wife’s mother is in very poor health.  Our daughter is 8.” So what does N.J. law say about the …

Hanlon Niemann & Wright Attorney Named to 2020 NJ Super Lawyers List

HNW Firm News

On October 18, 2019, Christopher J. Hanlon, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright was once again selected for the New Jersey Super Lawyers List.  Because Mr. Hanlon has demonstrated excellence in the practice of law, he has received this honor that is limited to no more than 5% of the attorneys within New Jersey based on a rigorous multi-phase selection process. To contact Christopher J. Hanlon, Esq., please email him at

Can I Give My Dead Father’s Long Time Girlfriend a Gift if She is Not Mentioned in His Will?

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate

NJ imposes an inheritance tax to non-exempt beneficiaries. A girlfriend of a deceased NJ resident is not an exempt beneficiary. How can the estate representative honor a decedents dying wish that a portion of his estate go to his girlfriend? I was recently asked to comment about the following case. A client is the only child of her deceased Dad, who died unmarried and without a Will, making the estate intestate because there is no signed Last Will.  His daughter has been appointed Administrator of his estate. She intends to honor her father’s dying wish that many of his assets go to his long-time girlfriend and companion. The value of the gift will be around $300k going to the girlfriend. …

If You Live Together with Your Spouse While Filing For Divorce, Medicaid Counts Both of Your Income

HNW Elder Law, Medicaid Eligibility and Asset Protection Planning

Income of both spouses is counted for Medicaid health coverage and medical payments I recently had a client who filed a fair hearing appeal because of the termination of NJ Family Care Medicaid health insurance. He was in the process of a divorce but living in the same household as his spouse. Both federal regulation 42 CFR §435.119 (b) (5) and state regulation N.J.A.C. §10:78-4.3 assert that countable income for purposes of determining eligibility “shall include the income of all members of the household unit.”  The federal regulations define two different tests to determine a household’s income.  The first, the modified adjusted gross income test, which the State used to calculate your income, defines a household “[i]n the case of …

How is a Self-Cancelling Promissory Note Treated in Estate Death Tax Administration?

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate

Understanding What a Self-Cancelling Note Means Under federal law “[t]he value of a gross estate shall include the value of all property to the extent of the interest therein of the decedent at the time of his death.”  I.R.C. § 2033.  In the context of the estate tax, when properly written, a self-cancelling installment note (“SCIN”) functions to remove from the estate the property that is the subject of the installment note leaving no taxable asset in its place. An installment note reflects an agreement related to an installment sale.  As defined by the code, “‘installment sale’ means a disposition of property where at least 1 payment is to be received after the close of the taxable year in which …

Can the Legal Guardian or Parent of a Minor Child Set Up a Protective Trust?       

HNW Elder Law, Guardianship Law, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

This article discusses support trusts for minor children when a parent dies. New Jersey has a statute(s) that specifies the provisions that must be included in the trust. A surviving parent or legal guardian of a minor child can set up a trust. The guardian statutes in New Jersey provide a specific procedure for a surviving parent and/or legal guardian to set up a trust on behalf of their minor child who inherits property from their deceased father, mother, grandparent, or for that matter, any person. Under N.J.S.A. §3B:12-54.1, a parent or guardian may apply to the Superior Court for permission to set up a support trust for the benefit of the child or children when they will be receiving …

Understanding the Law of Tenancy by the Entirety When a Marital Home is Owned by a Husband and Wife

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

Recently, our associate prepared a memo about executing a creditor’s judgment upon a tenancy by the entirety.  As a result, I read a few of the cases he cited in his memo.  These cases offered a great discussion regarding the laws on tenancy by the entirety that I believe you will find interesting. What is a Tenancy by the Entirety?  (Hint:  It’s Not a Rental) A tenancy by the entirety involves the ownership of a personal residence by a husband and wife.  The nature of a tenancy by the entirety is well established under New Jersey law.  It is an undivided legal ownership interest in the marital home for the joint lives of each spouse while married subject to the …