A DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order is Legal in New Jersey Without a Terminal Illness

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning

  We’ve all heard about a “Do Not Resuscitate Order” (DNR) but probably don’t know (precisely) what it means, or how it applies to you in real life. A DNR order alerts emergency personnel that you do not wish to receive Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of a medical emergency. It is a medical order that must be signed by a doctor. DNR orders are used primarily by people who are already critically ill and feel strongly that they do not want life-prolonging treatment when close to death. If you do not have a DNR order, emergency medical personnel must use all available measures, no matter how invasive, to save your life. Awhile back a client wanted to create …

New Jersey Adopts a New Law Which Will Allow You to Die With Dignity and on Your Terms

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning

The State Legislature recently adopted a law entitled  “Aid and Dying for the Terminally Ill Act” which will allow a qualified terminally ill patient to self-administer medication to end his/her life in a humane and dignified manner. The new law provides that New Jersey’s long standing commitment to individual dignity, informed consent and the fundamental right of a competent adult to make healthcare decisions about whether to have life prolonged through medical or surgical procedures withdrawn and withheld is to be honored and affirmed.  As a result, a qualified terminally ill patient under appropriate safeguards and limitations can obtain medication that the patient may choose to self-administer in order to bring about the patient’s humane and dignified death. As I …

Felt comfortable during my visit

HNW Testimonials

After finding Fred Niemann on the internet and watching many of his videos, I knew his firm was knowledgeable in more than just Wills and estate planning.  Once I had the chance to meet with Fred Niemann, he was friendly and interested in my needs.  After talking with many local firms, I was very glad I had chosen the firm of Hanlon Niemann & Wright. – Walter Sobieski

Don’t Blow It! You Can Still Make a Late and Inexpensive Portability Election to Eliminate and/or Reduce Future Estate Death Taxes

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate

“Portability” (I’ll explain its definition later in the blog) allows the personal representative of an estate to preserve a deceased spouse’s unused federal estate and/or gift tax exemption amount for later use by the surviving spouse which may be applied against future gifts by the spouse and/or his or her federal taxable estate upon death. In order to preserve portability, a personal representative is required to make an election on a timely filed IRS Form 706, following the death of the first spouse. If Form 706 is not filed within nine months of a decedent’s death or within 15 months if a request for an extension of time to file the return was timely obtained, a personal representative may be …

No Contest Clause in Will Can Be (Un)enforceable in New Jersey

HNW Elder Law, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

Many clients want to avoid challenges to their Last Will and Trust.  They are generally concerned about some family member who is “all about the money”.  They’re thinking their Will should include a no-contest clause to protect their good kids from greedy or unstable siblings, other children, etc.  Perhaps over the years there’s been hints that assets in the family really came from other donors, etc.  Parents envision others going after what he/she thinks is theirs and making the lives of beneficiaries miserable after the person is gone. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your position) a no-contest clause is not enforceable in New Jersey. Also known as an in terrorem clause, it specifies that any interested party who contests an …

Appealing From a Contempt of Court Order in a Civil Case

HNW Additional Practice Areas

Sometimes Judges impose seemingly harsh decisions which can include (at times) sanctions for monetary penalties and mandatory participation in programs and/or court sanction organizations.   Appealing contempt of Court in a Civil case is seldom discussed and well understood by parties to litigation as well as many of their attorneys. I have decided to give you a brief introduction to this topic in this post. A proceeding to enforce litigants’ rights under Rule 1:10-3 is essentially a civil proceeding to coerce a defendant into compliance with the court’s order for the benefit of the private litigant. Thus, an application for relief under Rule 1:10-3 is distinguishable from a criminal contempt proceeding which is ‘essentially criminal’ in nature and is instituted for …

Bringing Legal Action Against a Trustee Because the Trust is Performing Poorly in the Market

HNW Elder Law, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

Who is Responsible When a Trust Shows Poor Economic Performance? Poor performance from trusts, coupled with today’s financial and accounting scandals, have fueled investor concerns over potential problems with stewardship by banks and other trustees. While the stock market is often a factor in poor performance, fiduciary negligence may also come into play and you may have reason to consider a trust challenge. A financial advisor and other interested persons should direct trust beneficiaries to an attorney who has no prior relationship in the trust and who can objectively review the trust’s performance, assessing whether the financial advisor has properly fulfilled its fiduciary obligations as a trustee of a family’s wealth. Trustee Performance Historically, trustees have been quasi-family members, picked …

A Legal Guardian Can Create a Trust for the Benefit of a Minor Child  

HNW Elder Law, Guardianship Law

Question A parent dies with a large estate and leaves behind a minor child(ren). The decedent was divorced when he/she died. How can the surviving parent, if appointed legal guardian, protect the child’s estate from wasteful decisions and actions. The Law The guardian statute(s) provide procedure for setting up a trust on behalf of a minor child. Codified at N.J.S.A. §3B:12-54.1, a parent  or guardian may apply to the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part to get permission to set up a protective trust for the benefit of a minor child or children when they would otherwise be receiving assets from an intestate estate when they are under 18 years of age. The application to the Surrogate’s Office can be …

A Court Cannot Appoint a Receiver for a Corporation or LLC Without Proper Legal Notice

HNW Business Law

A recent case from the Appellate Division reminds us that the court rules which address business litigation must be closely followed.  A Trial Judge decision was reversed because he did not require the plaintiff to give notice of a proposed custodial receiver to the corporation, stockholder, and creditors of the corporation. New Jersey Court Rule 4:53-1 reads as follows: No order appointing a custodial receiver under  the general Equity power of the court shall be granted without the consent of or notice to the adverse party, unless it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that the immediate and irreparable damage will result to the applicant before notice can be served and a hearing …

Creditors of an Estate Can Sue Beneficiaries and the Executor if the Debt is Not Paid

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate

A creditor of a deceased person is allowed to file a claim against an estate if his/her claim is timely filed with the surrogate’s office before an order barring creditors is made. But what happens if they fail to do this? Well, an option is for that creditor to chase any and all assets distributed to the beneficiaries by the estate representative. Our Chancery court has the jurisdiction to order the executor to produce a refunding bond from the beneficiary and if they fail to do so the creditor can sue both the beneficiary and the executor for the value of their unpaid claim. The law is as follows on the proper closing of an estate and payment to creditors. …