Can Creditor’s make a Claim against Joint Account Assets in New Jersey after Death?

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a New Jersey Probate Attorney Recently a New Jersey intestate estate (death without a will or trust) passed under New Jersey law to the surviving spouse.  The decedent owned several joint bank accounts with his wife. The decedent had quite a few debts, including credit card and medical bills.  The question raised is whether non-probate assets are subject to creditor claims or if the estate can be deemed insolvent.  The answer may surprise you.  Non probate assets are not immune from creditors against an estate of a deceased party to pay debts, taxes, and expenses of administration, if other assets of the estate are insufficient.  A surviving party, P.O.D. payee, or beneficiary who receives payment …

Beware the Beneficiary Form

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate, Estate Planning

Part 3 of 4 By: Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq.           This is the third post of a four part series on estate planning by use of a beneficiary designation form. Avoid leaving assets to minors outright. Also avoid disabled people, and in certain cases, your estate or spouse.  If you do, a court will appoint someone to look after the funds, a cumbersome and often expensive process.  Also think about what can happen when the money reverts to the child at age 18 or 21, depending on the state. I’ve seen 18-year olds receive proceeds from life insurance policies.  While one of them still has her money, “the other two bought and wrecked brand new cars, splurged on clothes, and …

Spotlight on NJ Elder Law: What Families Really Need to Know Before a Crisis Occurs

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., NJ Elder Law Attorney   Often times when I meet with new clients, the first appointment is not with the parent(s) but with the children.  Commonly, they come to us after or during a crisis, such as a parent’s hospital or nursing home stay.  Just as often they have little or no information about what is going on with the parent, medically and financially, and cannot provide much of the information we need to assist them. Communication between parent and child before a crisis is so important and can provide peace of mind and reduce stress for both.  The following are some of the questions that families should discuss, which will often begin a dialogue about …