Kenneth Vercammen, Esq is Chair of the ABA Elder Law Committee and presents seminars to attorneys and the public on Wills, Probate and other legal topics related to Estate Planning and Elder law. He is author of the ABA's book "Wills and Estate Administration. Kenneth Vercammen is a Central Jersey trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar GP Solo Practitioner of the Year. He was a speaker at the recent ABA Annual Meeting attended by 10,000 attorneys and professionals.
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500
http://www.njlaws.com/

Friday, February 05, 2016

2016 MUNICIPAL COURT COLLEGE Seminar March 7, 2016

2016 MUNICIPAL COURT COLLEGE
Monday, March 7, 2016
5:30pm-9:00pm
NJ Law Center, New Brunswick

Our Faculty: Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq., K. Vercammen & Associates (Edison)Tara Auciello, Esq., Law Offices of Tara Auciello (New Brunswick) John Menzel, Esq., Law Office of John Menzel (Point Pleasant) Norma M. Murgado, Esq., Murgado & Carroll (Elizabeth)Joshua H. Reinitz, Esq., Iacuullo Martino, LLC (Nutley)

Program agenda- 5:30PM

Opening-5:35PM Recent case law, Court Rules, Conditional

Dismissal and Status of Legalized Weed Ken Vercammen, Esq.
5:50PM-Initial client interview; getting retained; dealing with the prosecutor Ken Vercammen, Esq.
6:20PM-Driving While Suspended – Joshua Reinitz, Esq.
6:50PM-Drug Cases, DREs and what not to do to annoy the prosecutor- Tara Auciello, Esq.
BREAK:7:20PM
7:30PM-Assault and miscellaneous proceedings – Norma Murgado, Esq.
7:45PM-DWI/Under the Influence of Drugs- John Menzel, Esq. with prosecutorial response
8:15PM-Alcotest/Ignition Locks/Alcotest Refusal – John Menzel, Esq. with prosecutorial response
8:45PM-DWI Point-Counterpoint – John Menzel, Esq. and Norma Murgado, Esq.
9:00PM-AdjournPresented in cooperation with the NJSBA Municipal Court Practice Section

Sayreville Library Wills Seminar Feb 22, 2016

Wills & Power of Attorney Seminar Sayreville Public Library
1050 Washington Road, NJ 08859 
February 22, 2016 at 6:30PM 
SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Edison, NJ  
(Author- Answers to Questions About Probate) The NJ Probate Law made a number of substantial changes in Probate and the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey. 
Main Topics:
1. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills
2. 2016 changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax 
3. NJ Inheritance taxes on estates over $675,000
4. Power of Attorney  
5. Living Will  
6. Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate
7. Questions and Answer 
COMPLIMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, "Answers to Questions about Probate" and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.

Sayreville Public Library 732-727-0212 Can’t attend? We can email you materials Send email to VercammenLaw@Njlaws.com 

Free Will Seminars and Speakers Bureau for Groups 10 years ago the AARP Network Attorneys of the Edison/Metuchen/Woodbridge area several years ago established a community Speakers Bureau to provide educational programs to AARP and senior clubs, Unions and Middlesex County companies. Now, Ken Vercammen, Esq. and volunteer attorneys of the Middlesex County Estate Planning Council have provided Legal Rights Seminars to hundreds of seniors, business owners and their employees, unions, clubs and non-profit groups. About the speaker: Kenneth A. Vercammen is a trial attorney in Edison, NJ. He is co-chair of the ABA Probate & Estate Planning Law Committee of the American Bar Association Solo Small Firm Division. He is a speaker for the NJ State Bar Association at the annual Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration program. He is author of the American Bar Association’s book Wills and Estate Administration. Mr. Vercammen is an AARP member and has published over 150 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation, elder law, probate and trial topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation and probate law for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He established the NJlaws website www.njlaws.com which includes many articles on Estate Planning, Probate and Wills. He is a member of the AARP and often lectures to groups on the importance of an up to date Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will. 

KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC ATTORNEY AT LAW 2053 Woodbridge Ave.Edison, NJ 08817 (Phone) 732-572-0500 (Fax) 732-572-0030 www.njlaws.com www.CentralJerseyElderLaw.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wills & Power of Attorney Seminar East Brunswick Public Library Feb. 16, 2016


Wills & Power of Attorney Seminar East Brunswick Public Library
2 Jean Walling Civic Center East Brunswick, NJ 08816

February 16, 2016 at 7pm

SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Edison, NJ (Author- Answers to Questions About Probate) The NJ Probate Law made a number of substantial changes in Probate and the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey.

Main Topics:
1. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills
2. 2016 changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax
3. NJ Inheritance taxes on estates over $675,000
4. Power of Attorney
5. Living Will
6. Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate
7. Questions and Answer

COMPLIMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, "Answers to Questions about Probate" and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.
East Brunswick Public Library 732-390-6781 Can’t attend? We can email you materials Send email to VercammenLaw@Njlaws.com

 
Free Will Seminars and Speakers Bureau for Groups 10 years ago the AARP Network Attorneys of the Edison/Metuchen/Woodbridge area several years ago established a community Speakers Bureau to provide educational programs to AARP and senior clubs, Unions and Middlesex County companies. Now, Ken Vercammen, Esq. and volunteer attorneys of the Middlesex County Estate Planning Council have provided Legal Rights Seminars to hundreds of seniors, business owners and their employees, unions, clubs and non-profit groups. About the speaker: Kenneth A. Vercammen is a trial attorney in Edison, NJ. He is co-chair of the ABA Probate & Estate Planning Law Committee of the American Bar Association Solo Small Firm Division. He is a speaker for the NJ State Bar Association at the annual Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration program. He is author of the American Bar Association’s book Wills and Estate Administration. Mr. Vercammen is an AARP member and has published over 150 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation, elder law, probate and trial topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation and probate law for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He established the NJlaws website www.njlaws.com which includes many articles on Estate Planning, Probate and Wills. He is a member of the AARP and often lectures to groups on the importance of an up to date Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Durable Power of Attorney Abuse

Durable Power of Attorney Abuse
A National Center on Elder Abuse1 Fact Sheet for Consumers
By Lori A. Stiegel, J.D., of the American Bar Association2 Commission on Law and Aging
Copyright © American Bar Association, 2008

PURPOSE OF FACT SHEET:
Victims of durable power of attorney (DPA) abuse or their family members often need help from the adult protective services, civil justice, or criminal justice systems to stop further abuse by the agent and to recover money, property, or other assets from the agent. But sometimes, as in the case example below, victims are sent from one system to another and don’t get the help they need. This fact sheet informs consumers about DPA abuse and what each system can do to help victims.
CASE EXAMPLE:
Helen was 85 and ailing when she made a DPA naming her daughter Susan as her agent. Two weeks later Susan used this DPA to sell Helen’s home. Susan placed the sale proceeds into bank accounts that were in Helen’s name. Within a year Susan had used her authority under Helen’s DPA to withdraw all the money from Helen’s accounts. Susan used the money to support her lavish lifestyle and her failing business. When Helen discovered her money was gone, she contacted the local law enforcement agency and was told by a detective that her only option was the civil justice system. Helen could not afford a civil lawyer and the local free legal services program for older people was not able to help her. The adult protective services agency told Helen that they couldn’t help her recover her money. Helen lost all hope and died six weeks later.
TERMINOLOGY:
  •   The “Principal” is the person who authorizes another person to act on his or her behalf through a power of attorney or durable power of attorney.
  •   The “Agent” or “Attorney-in-Fact” is the person who acts on the principal’s behalf through a power of attorney or durable power of attorney.
  •   A “Power of Attorney” (POA) is a legal document through which a principal authorizes an agent to act on the principal’s behalf. An agent’s authority ends if the principal revokes that authority or if the principal dies. By law, the agent’s authority also ends if the principal loses decision-making capacity and can not revoke the agent’s authority. The law does this to protect incapacitated principals who are no longer able to monitor their agents and take action if the agents abuse their authority.
  •   A “Durable Power of Attorney” is a POA that remains valid even if the principal loses the legal capacity to revoke the agent’s authority. This characteristic makes the DPA a useful tool for people who want to plan for the possibility of incapacity. Planning may avoid the appointment of a guardian or conservator, which occurs
1
when a court declares that a person lacks decision-making capacity and then appoints someone to make personal or property decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. As DPAs are used to enable an agent to act on behalf of an incapacitated principal, they usually are written very broadly and give the agent a lot of authority to handle financial matters.
  •   A “Springing Durable Power of Attorney” is a DPA that does not become effective when the principal signs it (unlike the POA or DPA, which become effective upon signing). Instead, it springs into effect at a later time or when a certain event specified in the DPA occurs.
  •   Adult Protective Services (APS) is an agency that receives and investigates reports of suspected elder abuse, including DPA abuse, that are made about older persons (in most states APS also investigates reports about abuse of adults with disabilities). If an APS professional decides that abuse has occurred, then the professional can offer the victim social services that may help prevent future abuse and can refer the victim to a civil lawyer, a law enforcement agency, or a prosecutor. An APS agency may be able to ask a court to declare that the victim lacks decision-making capacity and appoint a guardian or conservator, but APS has no authority to recover the victim’s money or to bring criminal charges against the agent.
  •   The Civil Justice System includes lawyers and courts that handle non-criminal cases. The role of the civil justice system is discussed below.
  •   The Criminal Justice System includes law enforcement professionals, prosecutors, and criminal courts. The role of the criminal justice system is discussed below.
    THE PROBLEM:
    DPA abuse (sometimes referred to as POA abuse) is the misuse by the agent of the authority granted by the principal. It means making a decision or taking an action that is not in the principal’s best interest. For example, as in the case described above, DPA abuse occurs when the agent spends the principal’s money to benefit the agent, rather than the principal. It may also include forging the principal’s signature on the DPA or coercing an older person to make a DPA against his or her wishes.
    Powers of attorney, whether general, durable, or springing, usually are not subject to oversight by a court or third party. If the principal becomes incapacitated and can no longer monitor the agent’s actions, this lack of oversight for a broadly written legal document makes it very easy for an agent to abuse the authority granted by the principal. For this reason, a DPA is often called a “license to steal.”
    THE AGENT’S DUTY TO THE PRINCIPAL:
    Just like an agent for a sports player or actor, an agent under a DPA has a legal duty to act as a fiduciary. Generally this means that the agent is required to act in a trustworthy manner and to make decisions that are in the principal’s best interest or that are consistent with decisions that the principal made for himself or herself before losing decision-making capacity.
2
THE CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM’S ROLE REGARDING DPA ABUSE:
The civil justice system’s general role is to help prevent harm from occurring to individuals and to compensate individuals when they are harmed.
It is not necessary to have a civil lawyer prepare a DPA, but a civil lawyer may help prevent DPA abuse from occurring in the first place by writing a DPA that limits the agent’s authority or allows third parties to exercise some oversight of the agent.
If an agent has already abused a DPA, then a civil lawyer can help by:
  •   Helping the principal revoke a DPA (this can only be done if the principal still has
    decision-making capacity)
  •   Asking a civil court to order the agent to provide an accounting of how the
    principal’s money has been spent
  •   Suing the agent in civil court to un-do transactions conducted by the agent
    (rescission)
  •   Suing the agent in civil court for stealing the principal’s money or assets
    (conversion)
  •   Asking the court to declare the principal to be incapacitated and appoint a guardian
    or conservator to make decisions on behalf of the principal or to oversee the agent’s actions on behalf of the principal
    THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM’S ROLE REGARDING DPA ABUSE:
    The criminal justice system’s general role is to stop crime, punish the people who have committed crime, and protect society from further crimes.
    An agent who violates the duty owed to the principal may have committed one or more crimes. The agent may have violated state and federal laws, including laws on:
  •   Exploitation
  •   Embezzlement
  •   Forgery
  •   Fraud (e.g., credit card fraud, tax fraud, welfare fraud)
  •   Larceny
  •   Money laundering
  •   Theft3
    Criminal justice professionals who are investigating or prosecuting DPA abuse should take action to stop the agent from spending or doing anything else with the principal’s remaining assets. Asset freezes may be possible. Additionally, prosecutors should ask criminal court judges to order agents to return stolen assets to the victim; this is called restitution.
    RESOURCES
    To find the APS agency in an older victim’s community, visit the National Center on
    Elder Abuse website (www.ncea.aoa.gov) and click on the “State Resources” map. You 3
page3image22248

can also find the APS agency by calling the nationwide, free Eldercare Locator at its toll- free number: 1-800-677-1116.
A victim of DPA abuse who is age 60 or older may be able to get free civil legal help from a program that is funded through the Older Americans Act. To find the program in an older person’s community, see the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging State Resource Guide at http://www.abanet.org/aging/resources/statemap.shtml or call the nationwide, free Eldercare Locator at its toll-free number: 1-800-677-1116.
A victim of DPA abuse who meets an income and assets test may be eligible for free civil legal help from a program funded through the Legal Services Corporation. To find the program in the victim’s community, see the Legal Services Corporation website: www.lsc.gov and click on the “Find Legal Assistance” map.
To find an attorney who specialized in “elder law” (these are not free services) who is licensed to practice law in the state where the older person lives, visit the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys at www.naela.org and click on the “Locate an Elder Law Attorney” button.
To report suspected DPA abuse to a law enforcement officer, call the police department or sheriff’s department in the community where the DPA abuse occurred. If an older person had property in several communities, it may be necessary to call the law enforcement agency in each of those communities.
To report suspected DPA abuse to a prosecutor, call the prosecutor’s office in the community where the DPA abuse occurred. The prosecutor may also be known as the district attorney, state’s attorney, county attorney, commonwealth’s attorney, or some other name.
1 This document was completed for the National Center on Elder Abuse and is supported in part by a grant, No. 90AM2792, from the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Therefore, points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official Administration on Aging policy.
2 The views expressed herein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.
3 This list was developed based on news stories from November and December 2007 in which agents were indicted or successfully prosecuted for DPA abuse.
source http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/aging/about/pdfs/durable_poa_abuse_fact_sheet_consumers.authcheckdam.pdf
   By Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
Straightforward and to-the-point, Wills and Estate Administration provides step-by-step guidance that firms can use to handle all aspects of an estates practice, from initial client intake to closing the file. Topics are defined in six parts for ease of use:
   Preparation for Wills/Estate Planning Interviews
   Interviewing Clients
   Additional Estate Planning Issues
   Estate Administration
   Guardianship of Disabled or Incompetent Parents
   Marketing Your Wills and Estate Administration Practice
     Making this an essential resource for solo and small firm practitioners, the author includes numerous forms for each topic, and they are also available for download online. The book is basic and written to help new and transitional attorneys. In addition, tips on practice management will help seasoned attorneys.

Author: Kenneth A Vercammen Edison, NJ
Publisher: American Bar Association  ABA Book Publishing
   List Price: $79.95

ABA Price: $69.95
ISBN: 978-1-63425-380-2
Product Code: 5150484
2015, 290 pages, 7 x 10, Paperback
American Bar Association  Service Hotline
 800-285-2221
312-988-5000

   Sample chapter available http://shop.americanbar.org

"Have just finished Ken Vercammen's excellent book on Wills, Estate Administration, and Guardianship. It is a very practical book that examines the business of an estate and trust practice. This step-by-step analysis is complete with forms and helps even the seasoned practitioner streamline his practice."
-Thomas D. Begley, Jr., Esq., Begley Law Office, NJ

About the Author: Kenneth A. Vercammen is a trial attorney in Edison, NJ. He is co-chair of the ABA Probate & Estate Planning Law Committee of the American Bar Association Solo Small Firm Division.  The is the author of the ABA book “Wills and Estate Administration, available at http://shop.americanbar.org/.”
He is a speaker for the NJ State Bar Association at the annual Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration program. 
He was Editor of the ABA Estate Planning Probate Committee Newsletter. Mr. Vercammen has published over 150 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on Wills, litigation, estates, probate law and trial topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation and probate law for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He established the NJlaws website www.njlaws.com which includes many articles on Estate Planning, Probate and Wills.
KENNETH  VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
 (Fax)    732-572-0030
www.njlaws.com
http://www.njwillsprobatelaw.com

Table of Contents ABA’s new book “Wills and Estate Administration”

Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi
PART 1
Preparation for Wills/Estate Planning Interviews . . . . . . . . . . 1
Handling Telephone Calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Initial Responses to Calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Calls from New Clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Subject Matter of Calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Reminder Calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Telephone Consultations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Rejected Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Referrals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Estate Planning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Exhibit 1-1: Will Appointment Cover Letter . . . . . . . . . . 7
Exhibit 1-2: Estate Planning Appointment Cover
Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Exhibit 1-3: New Client Cover Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Exhibit 1-4: New Client Questionnaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Exhibit 1-5: Confidential Will Questionnaire . . . . . . . . 14
Exhibit 1-6: Estate Planning Questionnaire . . . . . . . . . . 21
Exhibit 1-7: Power of Attorney Questionnaire . . . . . . . 26
Exhibit 1-8: Will Estate Planning Consult Bill . . . . . . . 29
Exhibit 1-9: Agreement to Provide Estate Planning
Legal Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
PART 2
Interviewing Clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Initial Appointments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Wills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Importance of Wills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Will Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Will Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
IV Wills and Estate Administration
Preparing Drafts of Estate Planning Documents . . . . . . . . . 40
Guardianship of Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Need for Periodic Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Cost Reductions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Revisions in Wills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Children from Prior Marriages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Separated or Divorced Persons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Gay and Lesbian Clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Referring Cases Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Explaining Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Will Preparation Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Power of Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Importance of Power of Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Gift-Giving Clause . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Going into Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Living Wills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Statute Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Health Care Representative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Advance Directives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Organ Donor Option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Estate Planning for Alzheimer’s Patients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
The Missing Client—Be Wary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Tax Matters and Credit Shelter Trust Preparations . . . . . . . . . . . 64
What Is a Credit Shelter Trust? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
State Estate Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Document Signings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Wills Signings Outside Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Follow-up after Signing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Newsletter to Clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Referrals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Uniform Probate Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Exhibit 2-1: Will—Husband to Wife with Trust for
Minor Children and Guardians Selection . . . . . . . . 83
Exhibit 2-2: Will—Widow/Widower Spouse with
Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Exhibit 2-3: Will—Unmarried Couple with No
Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Exhibit 2-4: Will—Basic to Spouse and Children
with No Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Contents v
Exhibit 2-5: Will—Unified Credit Trust to Reduce
Estate Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Exhibit 2-6: Will Revision Services Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Exhibit 2-7: Codicil to Will . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Exhibit 2-8: Will Services Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Exhibit 2-9: General Durable Power of Attorney
Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Exhibit 2-10: Revocation of Previous Wills and
Powers of Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Exhibit 2-11: Living Will and Durable Power of
Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Exhibit 2-12: Power of Attorney Taking Effect . . . . . 119
Exhibit 2-13: Will Draft Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Exhibit 2-14: Will Signings Outside Office . . . . . . . . . 123
Exhibit 2-15: Post-Will Signing Letter to Clients . . . . 125
Exhibit 2-16: Client End-of-Case Questionnaire . . . . 128
Exhibit 2-17: Brochure Request Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Exhibit 2-18: Referral Thank You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
PART 3
Additional Estate Planning Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Preparation of Letters of Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Content of Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Confidentiality of Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment . . . . . . . 138
Patient Information Disclosure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Prenuptial Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Problems of Probate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Revocable Living Trusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Transferring Property into the Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Irrevocable Trusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Marital Tax Deductions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Special Needs Trusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust . . . . . . . . . . . 148
Medicaid Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
Impact of Divorce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
Medicaid Spend-Down and the Mentally Incompetent . . 151
Long-Term Care Expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Questions to Ask about Long-Term Coverage . . . . . . . . . 152
VI Wills and Estate Administration
Signing House Over to Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Providing for Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Unexpected Illness/Disability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
Exhibit 3-1: Letter of Last Instructions . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Exhibit 3-2: Confidentiality of Files/Requests for
Copies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Exhibit 3-3: Acknowledgment of Receipt of
Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Exhibit 3-4: HIPAA Authorization to Disclose
Patient Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Exhibit 3-5: Irrevocable Trust [Wife to Husband] . . . 167
PART 4
Estate Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Filing a Probate Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Qualifying the Executor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Probate Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Inheritance Renunciation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Assets That Do Not Pass under a Will . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Tax Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
Finalizing the Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
Testamentary Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Consulting Fees for Probate Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Intestacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Elective Share of Spouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Undue Influence Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Caveat to Will . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Removing an Executor of an Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
Complaint for Accounting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
Executor’s Commissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Unsold Real Estate and Other Property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Exhibit 4-1: Condolence/Will Revision Letter . . . . . . 202
Exhibit 4-2: Probate/Inheritance/Estate
Administration Questionnaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
Exhibit 4-3: Retainer Cover Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Exhibit 4-4: Agreement to Provide Probate Legal
Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
Exhibit 4-5: Executor Duties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
Contents vii
Exhibit 4-6: Notice of Probate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Exhibit 4-7: Certificate of Mailing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Exhibit 4-8: Transfer Inheritance Tax Bureau
Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Exhibit 4-9: Release and Refunding Bond
Letter/Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Exhibit 4-10: Real Estate Waiver Filing . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Exhibit 4-11: Agreement to Provide Legal
Services—Probate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Exhibit 4-12: Will/Estate Consultation Bill . . . . . . . . . 231
Exhibit 4-13: Renunciation for Administration . . . . . . 232
Exhibit 4-14: Complaint to Remove Executor,
Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
Exhibit 4-15: Complaint to Replace Executor . . . . . . 245
PART 5
Guardianship of Disabled or Incompetent Parents . . . . . . . 249
Exhibit 5-1: Guardianship Interview Form . . . . . . . . . 252
Exhibit 5-2: Guardianship Legal Services Fees . . . . . 257
Exhibit 5-3: Complaint for Guardianship . . . . . . . . . . 260
Exhibit 5-4: Affidavit of Next of Kin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Exhibit 5-5: Letters to Doctors to Be Delivered
by Client . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
Exhibit 5-6: Affidavit of Doctor 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
PART 6
Marketing Your Wills and Estate Administration
Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Seminars Sponsored by Community Organizations . . . . . . . . 265
Hosting Seminars in Your Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Seminar Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Seminar Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
American Association of Retired Persons Membership . . . . . 267
Happy Hour Networking with Professionals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
Marketing via Websites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268
Setting up a Blog on Wills and Probate for Free . . . . . . . . 268
Gift Certificates for Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Maintaining Client Contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
viii Wills and Estate Administration
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
Exhibit 6-1: Sample Letter to Senior Groups . . . . . . . 271
Exhibit 6-2: Confirm Will Seminar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
Exhibit 6-3: Sample Flyer for Will Seminar . . . . . . . . 275
Exhibit 6-4: Items to Bring to Wills and Elder Law
Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276
Exhibit 6-5: Law Office Seminar Promotional
Flyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Exhibit 6-6: Wills and Estate Administration
Seminar Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279