Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NJ Estate Tax Instructions

The NJ Estate Tax is in addition to the NJ Inheritance Tax.  A tax is imposed upon the estate of every resident decedent having a date of death after December 31, 2001 which would have been subject to an estate tax payable to the United States under the provisions of the Federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C.s.1 et seq, in effect on December 31, 2001.
(Form IT-Estate (10-99) is to be used for all decedents having a date of death before January 1, 2002.)
Who Must File
A New Jersey estate tax return must be filed if the decedent’s Gross Estate plus adjusted taxable gifts determined in accordance with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code in effect on December 31, 2001 exceeds $675,000.
Filing Method
The Form 706 method (Column B) must be used if the taxpayer files or is required to file a Federal Form 706.  If the taxpayer does not file or is not required to file a Federal Form 706, then, in addition to the Form 706 method the simplified form method (Column A) may be used providing that it produces a tax liability similar to the Form 706 method.  In those cases where a taxpayer makes an election to treat an asset in a particular manner for Federal estate tax purposes, a like election must be made for New Jersey estate tax purposes.  Assets and deductions must be treated in the same manner for both Federal and New Jersey estate tax purposes.
1.      Simplified Form Method

(a) Submit a completed NJ Inheritance Tax Return (Form IT-R), a copy of the decedent's Last Will and Testament, a copy of the decedent's last Federal Income Tax Return filed prior to death, and the NJ Estate Tax Return with Schedules E-1 through Schedule E-3.

(b) Complete Column A Lines 1(a) through Line 18(a) of the      NJ Estate Tax Return.  The Tax on Line 10(a) of the NJ Estate Tax Return is computed using the attached worksheet.

(c) In the event that the decedent was a surviving spouse and received Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) from the predeceased spouse for which a marital deduction was elected for Federal and/or New Jersey estate tax purposes, the full value of the QTIP property must be included in Schedule E-1.

In the event that decedent was a surviving civil union partner on or after February 19, 2007 and received Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) from the predeceased civil union partner for which a deduction was elected for New Jersey estate tax purposes, the full value of the QTIP property must be included in Schedule E-1.

(d) The simplified form method is not intended for use in all estates.    It may not be used in situations where it does not produce a tax liability similar to the Form 706 method.

2.      Form 706 Method

(a) Submit a completed 2001 Form 706, a copy of any Federal Estate Tax Return filed or required to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service, supporting documentation, a copy of any communication from the Federal Government, a NJ Estate Tax Return, a copy of the decedent's Last Will and Testament and a copy of the last Federal Income Tax Return filed prior to death. Schedules E-4 through E-7 must be completed for New Jersey assets requiring waivers.

(b) Complete Column B Lines 1(b) through Line 18(b) of the NJ Estate Tax Return.

(c) If the decedent died on or after 2/19/07 survived by a civil union partner, a marital deduction equal to that permitted a surviving spouse under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code in effect on 12/31/01 is permitted for New Jersey estate tax purposes.  In these cases, the 2001 Form 706 should be completed as though the Internal Revenue Code treated a surviving civil union partner and a surviving spouse in the same manner.  A surviving civil union partner is treated the same as a surviving spouse for New Jersey estate tax purposes.

Interest Rates and Payment Due Date
Interest accrues at the rate of 10% per annum on any NJ Estate Tax not paid within nine months of the decedent's death.  If an extension of time to file the Federal Estate Tax Return is granted, the Director of the Division of Taxation may reduce interest to 6% per annum until the earlier of the expiration of the Federal Extension or the date of the filing of the Federal Return with the Internal Revenue Service.
Requests for an interest reduction must be accompanied by a copy of the request made to the Internal Revenue Service for an Extension of Time in which to file the Federal Estate Tax Return along with a copy of any required approval and verification as to the date on which the Federal Estate Tax Return was actually filed.
Payments are first applied to the interest, if any, which has accrued to the date of payment.
Tax waivers will only be issued for assets listed on Schedules E-4 thru E-7 when filing the Form 706 Method. When filing under the Simplified Method, waivers will be issued from Schedules A and B of the IT-R.
Payments on Account
Payments on account may be made at any time to avoid further accrual of interest on the amount paid. In any case where the amount paid on account for New Jersey estate taxes exceeds the amount of such tax due after final assessment has been made, the amount so overpaid shall be refunded by the State Treasurer in the due course of business, provided, however, that all applications for a full or partial refund of the payment of the estate taxes shall be made within three years from the date of such payment. Make checks payable to NJ Inheritance and Estate Tax and mail to PO Box 249, Trenton, New Jersey 08695-0249
For resident decedents dying after December 31, 2001, the NJ Estate Tax remains a lien on all property of the decedent as of the date of death until paid.  No property may be transferred without the written consent of the Director.

Follow these procedures to avoid delays in processing returns, waivers, and refunds:
DO NOT enclose returns in any kind of BINDER, SEALED FOLDER or NOTEBOOK. DO NOT use STAPLES (especially extra-long staples) on the return.  
a.             o It is OK to use rubber bands or clips to keep the file together.
b.             o Two-hole ATCO fasteners, along the TOP of the return, are also acceptable.

       DO NOT enclose DUPLICATE COPIES of returns or duplicates of other documents.
o    When filing both Inheritance and Estate Tax, include only ONE copy of the will, trusts, income tax return, 706, appraisals, and any other attachments.
A few things to DO: STAPLE checks to the completed payment voucher, and put voucher on TOP.
a.             o    Make sure checks are signed, and made payable to “New Jersey Inheritance and Estate Tax”
b.             o    Include the Decedent’s name and SS# on the check.

Place the return and schedules on top (if no payment), with the will and other supporting documents beneath. Check that returns are SIGNED by the legal representative of the estate and NOTARIZED.
o The representative’s name should be printed clearly beneath the signature
VERIFY the decedent’s social security number and date of death.
       Make sure the MAILING ADDRESS on the return is correct – and indicates the person who you want to receive ALL correspondence (letters, bills, waivers, etc).
o    The Division cannot correspond with your attorney or CPA unless they are listed on the front page of the return. Clearly mark amended returns as “Amended” along the BOTTOM of the return.
       File Inheritance Tax and Estate Tax returns together when possible.
a.             o Keep the two returns separate within the same envelope or box.
b.             o Keep in mind the two taxes have separate due dates for payment of the tax.
c.             o Include separate checks and vouchers for each tax.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration Seminar Wed, May 7

Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration Seminar  
        Wed, May 7  5:00 PM - 9:00 PM New Jersey Law Center One Constitution Square New Brunswick, NJ 08901  Includes a 260-page book, plus CD with sample forms, documents & checklists! and dinner     Elder law continues to offer the legal profession a booming opportunity for growth. As your current clients continue to grow older, you need to position yourself to be able to offer them and their families the legal services required by the elderly in today’s society. Or, you may be looking for lucrative areas in which to expand your current practice, including administering their estates.
This practical program is designed to provide the nuts and bolts of elder law practice & estate administration practice to general practitioners and young lawyers, as well as to more experienced lawyers seeking to expand into this field. A highly authoritative and experienced panel of elder law attorneys & estate planners will share proven techniques and experience it would take you years to gather on your own. You’ll also gain insight on how Federal Medicaid Reform will impact your practice.
Everything you need to know about elder law & estate administration including:

• Why Have a Will? - Gathering information; standard provisions; designation of fiduciaries; protective clauses; sample forms; Ethics - who is the client?

• Powers of Attorney - Types of POAs; what should be included; why clients need them; POAs and Living Wills; sample forms

• Living Trusts (Revocable/Irrevocable) as an Estate Planning Tool - Why it should be used; Ethics - who is the client?; disadvantages; revocable vs. irrevocable; Insurance Trusts; sample forms

• Basic Tax Considerations - Jointly-held property; “I love you” Will; no Will at all; insurance owned by client; unlimited marital deduction; estate planning in the testamentary document; sample forms/letters

• Estate Administration - New Probate Law in New Jersey - Probate process; duties of executor/fiduciary; gathering of assets; tax returns; tax waivers; access to property; sample forms/checklists

• Medicaid Planning in Light of Federal Medicaid Reform - Countable assets of Medicaid applicant; income cap/Medical needy standard; look-back period; transfers of property; personal residence; Medicaid estate recovery rules; probate; undue influence; competency
…and more
-KENNETH A. VERCAMMEN, ESQ. Chair, ABA Elder Law Committee Past GP Solo Section Attorney of the Year Past NJSBA Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year  Edison, NJ
-WILLIAM P. ISELE, ESQ. Past NJ Ombudsman for the Elderly
-MARTIN A. SPIGNER, ESQ. Law Office of Martin A. Spigner, Cranbury
$160.00 General   Tuition, reduced fee for NJSBA Elder & Disability Law Section and NJSBA Young Lawyers Division
[Free for Superior Court Judges] Seminar #S57800S4
NJSBA Member Price is reduced – To qualify for this reduced price, you must provide your NJSBA Member# at the time you place your order. If you place your order without providing your NJSBA Member#, you will be charged the regular price.
          More details contact New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education 
The non-profit continuing education service of 
The New Jersey State Bar Association  Constitution Square, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1520 
Phone: (732) 214-8500 • Fax: (732)249-0383 •
         NJ CLE INFORMATION: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 4.6 hours of total CLE credit. Of these, 1.2 qualify as hours of credit for ethics/professionalism.

         Presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Elder & Disability Law Section and NJSBA Young Lawyers Division

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ken Vercammen joined the AARP Legal Services Network in 2013

Ken Vercammen joined the AARP Legal Services Network in 2013

The AARP Legal Services Network was established by the AARP in response to membership needs. The AARP recognized that many people over the age of 50 have legal matters that require the services of an attorney. They also recognized that many of these problems could be solved in a single consultation with counsel. As a result, one of the benefits of the Network is that members of the AARP are automatically entitled to a consultation with an AARP Legal Services Network provider, at no cost to the member. Legal matters are certainly not limited to elder law issues, estate planning or similar matters, but include a wide variety of additional legal issues, such as general business matters, personal injury, bankruptcy and a host of others. Source:
      With particular regard to Probate and Estate Administration, AARP members, through the Legal Services Network, are entitled not only to a free consultation with a participating attorney, but also to a 20% fee reduction on legal matters undertaken by the participating attorney. These matters include estate planning, probate and all other legal areas where service is provided to an AARP member by a participating attorney.

Everyone should have a Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Will.

      Recommendations for AARP members. Contact the AARP attorney directly to schedule an appointment by telephone or e-mail to schedule an appointment. For Probate and Wills in Central NJ, call Kenneth Vercammen’s Law Office in Edison 732-572-0500. Outside this area call AARP at 1-800-424-3410 or go to website
     When you call to make your appointment with an AARP Listed Attorney, notify them that you found them through the Legal Services Network. If you are an AARP member, provide them your AARP membership number to ensure you are offered AARP member benefits.
     Work directly with the AARP  Attorney regarding your legal matter. All legal services are handled through the attorney, so attorney fees are paid directly to your attorney. There are no claim forms to fill out.
     Take advantage of the free consultation on Probate and Estate Administration and determine next steps with your attorney.        Come prepared and on time to your appointment and bring your AARP membership card.
     We will for a written fee agreement if you intend to retain him/her.
      Chances are, you've been in a situation where you could benefit from legal assistance.  Have you ever been in an accident? Has a motor vehicle or criminal complaint been filed against you or a member of your family? Many individuals face these and other types of problems.  Yet finding an who understands the needs of seniors is difficult.  That's why the AARP offers you valuable free and discounted legal services, without any fee or enrollment cost.
      This means you can prevent legal problems before they occur. Most important, you can have peace of mind.

       Understanding the 20% Discount Benefit. There are many factors surrounding fees for attorneys’ services. They are: time and effort, geographic location, outcome, advice, difficulty of a case, experience, Prominence of the lawyer, preferred client discount and overhead. Understanding all of these factors, understanding the billing process and having a basic knowledge as to how attorneys charge for their services may help you prior to hiring a Legal Services Network attorney to handle a legal matter on your behalf. Standard payment arrangements may include the following: hourly rates, flat rates and retainers. Here are some examples of how the 20% discount would apply.
There are typically 2 ways the 20% discount could be applied based on your particular legal situation. They are: (1) on an hourly rate basis and (2) a flat rate fee basis. Additionally, an attorney may ask for a retainer fee prior to handling your legal matter.
Hourly Rate:     This is the most common arrangement in Probate cases and Estate Administration. In this instance, the attorney gets paid based upon their hourly rate for the hours they work on your case until the legal matter is concluded. For Example:     If an attorney charges $350 per hour, 20% off would equal an hourly rate of $275 per hour you would owe the attorney for the total number of hours worked on the matter plus any out of pocket expenses such as postage, filing fees, photocopies, etc. 
      Flat Rate Fee: This is an arrangement where an attorney charges you a set fee for the service being provided based on a normal number of hours the attorney expects to work on the matter. Such types of services could be, but are not limited to, standard lease agreements, Power of Attorney, Simple Will,  Living Will For Example: If an attorney charges a flat fee of $500 for a Will, AARP members receive a 20% discount.
      Retainer Fee:  In most cases, the attorney will require the Retainer fee. A retainer fee is usually a pre-payment made at the beginning of legal representation based on an estimate of how much time a matter is going to take. The amount of the retainer should take into account the 20% discount on the hourly rate charged. If the matter costs more than the amount of the retainer, you will be responsible for the additional payments.          .
      If the matter costs less than the amount of the retainer you will receive money back. In some instances, a retainer may take on the form of a flat fee to represent a client on a specific matter, regardless of how much time or effort is involved in the representation. In many instances, this arrangement is typical in cases such as criminal matters.

      Hopefully, this information has provided some insight into the operating standards of a law office that participates in our Legal Services Network.