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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 update Wills and Estate Planning- Free Seminar January 11 Thursday 12:15-1:00 PM and again 5:00-5:15pm

 2018 update Wills and Estate Planning- Free Seminar
January 11 Thursday
12:15-1:00 PM and again 5:00-5:15pm 
Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen,
2053 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, NJ 08817

      COST: Free if you pre-register by email. Complimentary materials provided at 12:00 sharp. Free sandwiches for past and current clients from Craig’s Deli.
We previously held this seminar for the Metuchen and Edison Library. This program is limited to 15 people. Please bring a canned food donation, which will be given to St. Matthews St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank. Please email us if you plan on attending or if you would like us to email the materials.

SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.                 
(Author- ABA Wills and Estate Administration)
1. NJ Estate Tax eliminated on Estates under $5,400,000 as of January 1, 2018
2. NJ Inheritance Tax stays if assets are going to persons other than spouse or children.   
3. Federal Estate Tax exemption increased to over $5.49 million in 2018 but gifts limited to $14,000 per person
4. Set up a testamentary trust in your Will for Protection for spouses and leaving assets to children:
5. We recommend Self- Proving Wills since witnesses often move or pass away
6. The New Probate law NJ
7. NJ Supreme Court holds if an executor or trustee violates fiduciary duty they can be liable for attorneys fees
8. Power of Attorney- Do not use a form purchased online. 
9. Federal Health Privacy Law (HIPAA)- Have a new Living Will prepared
10. Competency required to sign a Will or Power of Attorney
      COMPLIMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, Probate and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.   

Co-Sponsor: Middlesex County Estate Planning Council
To attend email
other Information call 732-572-0500
Can’t attend?  We can email you materials

Send email to

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wills and Estate Planning for Veterans and their Families January 3, 2018 at 7PM.

January 3, 2018 at 7PM.
   American Legion Post 306, 707 Legion Way, Middlesex NJ 08846

    Members of any American Legion, SOL and auxiliary can attend. Just bring your membership card and click the Facebook link going.

SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Edison, NJ (Author- Wills and Estate Administration by the ABA)
Member Edison American Legion SOL and Life Member, VFW Auxiliary
       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.   2018 changes to NJ Estate Tax   
2. 2018 changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax 
3. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills    
4. Power of Attorney  
5.  Living Wills             
6.  Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate     

       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.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

UAW-FCA-Ford-General Motors Legal Services Plan

UAW-FCA-Ford-General Motors Legal Services Plan
A new Legal Services Plan opened on January 25, 2017 for eligible FCA, Ford, and General Motors members. It is called UAW-FCA-Ford-General Motors Legal Services Plan. An eligible member can open a new case by calling 1-800-482-7700. Under this new Plan, an eligible UAW member can receive "office work" legal services for a variety of legal matters including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, plus deeds, credit reporting, consumer contract questions, real estate advice relating to buys and sales and advice on uncontested divorces and family matters.
      In addition low cost referrals will be provided on some other types of cases such as bankruptcy, probate, guardianship and litigation matters. The old Legal Services Plan (which has not been able to open new cases since January 1, 2014) is continuing to work to conclude those cases that remain open.   Kenneth Vercammen's Law Office in Edison, NJ is one of the attorneys that prepare Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills. The law office also provides assistance with Probate & Estate Administration.
    If a UAW members has any questions about the plan or a prior case opened before January 1, 2014, feel free to contact the National office in Detroit at 800-482-7700. 
Affordable Access to Justice
Having a prepaid legal services plan provides the following benefits to workers, their families and their employers: 
  • 1) Costly legal problems are avoided when people have access to advice and consultation from a knowledgeable legal adviser;
  • 2) Productivity is enhanced and absenteeism is reduced when workers can focus on their jobs, not their legal problems;
  • 3) Access to the legal justice system (at a very low cost per member) is opened to low and middle income workers who are often disproportionately affected by certain types of consumer fraud, mortgage scams and other legal problems. 
  • The UAW Legal Services Plan addressed workers' problems in just such a cost effective manner handling almost 5 million over the years. The majority of legal problems were handled by providing advice and drafting documents. Other legal problems involved more extensive work – but are still handled in a cost-effective manner.  

  • Statement from the Director
  • “Wealthy people have lawyers. Government funds help poor people to get legal assistance. Working families have often been unable to afford assistance with everyday legal issues and problems. 
  • “For 32 years, UAW Legal Services Plan has pioneered one answer to providing legal help to working families. Through its offices and its panels of private attorneys, the Legal Services Plan has provided legal assistance and representation for a variety of basic legal problems, from buying a home to drafting a will to probating the estate of a parent to addressing debt and foreclosure. With efficient practices, the Plan kept costs down, generally costing approximately $6 per month for each member – much less than the cost of just about any other type of benefit. 
  • “Although the Plan did not and cannot possibly cover all types of legal problems, (Court representation for divorces, for example, has never been covered by UAW Legal Services Plan) it did cover many of the types of matters that concerned working people – providing members with access to the legal justice system and legal help which they would not otherwise have had.
  • “The Plan is proud of our record of providing high-quality legal services to UAW workers at a low cost. We served Union members and their families on almost 5 million matters through the years. We saved countless homes and helped members with other types of personal matters. We hope that our model will inspire future efforts to bring affordable legal services, and therefore real access to justice, to working families.”
  • Dolores M. Galea Director
  • Why a Legal Services Plan
       The purpose of a prepaid legal services plan is to give working and middle income people access to the legal justice system. Wealthy people and corporations can afford legal advice and representation. Many poor people can find legal help at a legal aid office. Working and middle income Americans have the greatest trouble affording and even locating help for their everyday legal needs. The UAW Legal Services Plan and other prepaid legal services (there are hundreds throughout the country) are based on one idea – a well-run legal services plan can provide basic legal assistance, that would otherwise be unaffordable, in a very cost-effective manner.
    Types of Services Available
    Under the 2011 labor agreements with GM, Ford and Chrysler, the Legal Services Plan stopped taking new cases at the end of December, 2013. Cases opened before that date are being completed. The new Plan is a different Plan and covers different legal matters.

          Here are some matters that may be covered by your new legal services plan:
  • 1. Will and Estates. Everyone needs to plan their estate. That means a will, which directs how assets will be distributed after death. Some people can also benefit from a living trust, though there is work involved in using it correctly. And most people are better off giving instructions on how they want to be taken care of if incapacitated, and at the end of life, through a living will or power of attorney. 
  • 2. Power of Attorneys and Deeds. An attorney can review your current documents, discuss if new ones are needed and prepare new ones if necessary. 
  • source:

    Monday, November 27, 2017

    45:27-22 Control of funeral , disposition of remains.

    45:27-22  Control of funeral , disposition of remains.
       22. a. If a decedent, in a will as defined in N.J.S.3B:1-2, appoints a person to control the 
    funeral and disposition of the human remains, the funeral and disposition shall be in accordance with the instructions of the person so appointed.  A person so appointed shall not have to be executor of the will.  The funeral and disposition may occur prior to probate of the will, in accordance with section 40 of P.L.2003, c.261 (C.3B:10-21.1).

       In the case of an active duty service member who died while on active duty in any branch or component of the United States Armed Forces, including the New Jersey National Guard called to federal active duty, the person designated by the decedent as authorized to direct disposition, as listed on the decedent's United States Department of Defense Record of Emergency Data, DD Form 93, or its successor form, shall be the person appointed to control the 
    funeral and disposition of the remains of the decedent.

       If the decedent has not left a will appointing a person to control the 
    funeral and disposition of the remains or the United States Department of Defense Record of Emergency Data, DD Form 93, or its successor form, is not applicable, the right to control the funeral and disposition of the human remains shall be in the following order, unless other directions have been given by a court of competent jurisdiction:

       (1)   The surviving spouse of the decedent or the surviving civil union or domestic partner; except that if the decedent had a temporary or permanent restraining order issued pursuant to P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.) against the surviving spouse or civil union or domestic partner, or the surviving spouse or civil union or domestic partner is charged with the intentional killing of the decedent, the right to control the 
    funeral and disposition of the remains shall be granted to the next available priority class as provided in this subsection.

       (2)   A majority of the surviving adult children of the decedent.

       (3)   The surviving parent or parents of the decedent.

       (4)   A majority of the brothers and sisters of the decedent.

       (5)   Other next of kin of the decedent according to the degree of consanguinity.

       (6)   If there are no known living relatives, a cemetery may rely on the written authorization of any other person acting on behalf of the decedent.

       For purposes of this subsection "domestic partner" means a domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3).

       b.   A cemetery may permit the disposition of human remains on the authorization of a 
    funeral director handling arrangements for the decedent, or on the written authorization of a person who claims to be, and is believed to be, a person who has the right to control the disposition.  The cemetery shall not be liable for disposition pursuant to this authorization unless it had reasonable notice that the person did not have the right to control the disposition.

       c.   A cemetery shall not bury human remains of more than one person in a grave unless:

       (1)   directions have been given for the burials in accordance with this section on behalf of all persons so buried; or

       (2)   the rights to be buried in the grave were sold by the cemetery with explicit provision allowing separate sales of rights to burial at different depths in the grave.

       d.   A person who signs an authorization for the 
    funeral and disposition of human remains warrants the truth of the facts stated, the identity of the person whose remains are disposed and the authority to order the disposition.  The person shall be liable for damages caused by a false statement or breach of warranty.  A cemetery or funeral director shall not be liable for disposition in accordance with the authorization unless it had reasonable notice that the representations were untrue or that the person lacked the right to control the disposition.

       e.   An action against a cemetery company relating to the disposition of human remains left in its temporary custody may not be brought more than one year from the date of delivery of the remains to the cemetery company unless otherwise provided by a written contract.

       L.2003, c.261, s.22; amended 2005, c.324, s.1; 2005, c.331, s.29; 2009, c.290; 2013, c.268.

    Sunday, November 26, 2017

    Intestacy [Someone died and no Will or Will not done correct and not admitted to probate]

    Intestacy  [Someone died and no Will or Will not done correct and not admitted to probate]

    Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of his or her enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration; alternatively where such a will or declaration has been made, but only applies to part of the estate, the remaining estate forms the "Intestate Estate". Intestacy law, also referred to as the law of descent and distribution or intestate succession statutes, refers to the body of common law that determines who is entitled to the property from the estate under the rules of inheritance.  See
    More details at

    The estate of every NJ resident must be settled with the County Surrogate's Court unless the deceased owned no assets individually in New Jersey. Except in that limited circumstance, an estate must be presented to the County Surrogate before disbursement of the deceased's assets can occur. This estate settlement requirement applies whether the person died with or without a will. See
    The estate of a person who dies without a will is called an "intestate" estate.   The Administrator's responsibilities include notifying the deceased's next of kin of his/her death, assembling the estate's assets and disbursing those assets according to law. The applicant need not be an attorney. In fact, most applicants complete the entire Surrogate's Court process without the need for an attorney. However, if you feel more comfortable bringing an attorney to the Surrogate's Court, you may certainly do so.
    To apply to be the Administrator of an intestate estate, a person must bring the following to the County Surrogate's Court: (1) The original death certificate with raised seal; (2) An estimate of the gross value (but not an item-by-item description) of the estate covering all real estate and non-real estate (personal) assets; (3) The complete names and addresses of the deceased's next of kin; (4) A blank New Jersey check or cash for fees-the average fees, excluding bonding costs, are $150-$250);
    (5) A formal, written Renunciation of the right to serve as the estate's Administrator signed (in the presence of a Notary Public) by every person, if any, who has statutory preference over the applicant to serve as the estate's Administrator.
    If all the children Will not sign a renunciation, an expensive Complaint and Order to Show Cause will have to be filed. At the Superior Court hearing a beneficiary will have to convince the Judge to appoint them as the Administrator. Legal fees and court costs over $3,000. They will then have to pay for a bond usually costing over $1,000. Then later usually a Formal Accounting has to be filed.  All this could be avoided with a proper Will prepared by an Estate Planning Attorney usually costing $300-$600 each.
    As a matter of law, the family members of the deceased have the first right to serve as the Administrator, in the following order of preference: spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters. Should no family member seek appointment, then a creditor or anyone else may do so. A person who renounces the right to serve as Administrator may do so without disclaiming the right to receive any of the deceased's assets. (In contrast, by having a will, a person can choose the individual(s) he/she wishes to take charge and distribute his/her estate's assets (the "Executor(s)"). Source: See
    Once the above-described five items have been received, the Surrogate will appoint the applicant as the Administrator of the intestate estate. In most cases, the Administrator must be bonded until the estate has been properly assembled and distributed. This bonding fee is in addition to the $150-250 in average fees paid by the person seeking to be approved as Administrator. Bonding is required to protect the creditors and beneficiaries of the estate from the possibility that the Administrator will misuse his/her authority to their financial detriment.
    There are, however, exceptions to the bonding requirement for intestate estates. If the deceased has a surviving spouse and no surviving parent or child, the surviving spouse need not post a bond. If the deceased left a surviving spouse and a surviving parent or child, then there will be no bond required of the surviving spouse for the first $50,000 of the estate and one-half of the remainder. Otherwise, the cost of bonding is fixed on the value of the estate. Bond premiums are currently $100 per year, if the estate is worth $18,000 or less; $525 per year, if the estate is worth $100,000 or less. (By way of comparison, a person can have a simple Will drafted by an attorney for $250-$350 and the will can state that the person taking charge of the estate's assets, the "Executor", shall serve without any bond.)
    After the Administrator has been appointed and bonded, the Surrogate's Court will then issue Surrogate's Certificates (also known as Letters of Administration) that are used to assemble and transfer the intestate's assets. It is recommended that you order several copies of these Certificates, especially if the assets are being held by several banks, brokerage firms, pension plans and insurance companies. They will also be needed to sell or transfer all real estate assets. Along with the Certificates, a General Information brochure regarding the New Jersey Inheritance Tax is sent by the Surrogate's Court to the Administrator by mail within 5-7 business days of his/her appointment.
    Administration of the estate cannot be first completed until several additional steps are taken. First, the Administrator must gather the assets, pay the just debts and taxes, and then distribute the balance of the estate's assets in accordance with the law. Second, once all assets of the estate have been disbursed, the Administrator must have each recipient sign a Refunding Bond. The Administrator should also have the recipient(s) sign a Release at the same time. The Surrogate's Court provides, without charge, a form combining a Release and Refunding Bond. The executed Release and Refunding Bond (signed by the recipient in the presence of a Notary Public) should then be filed with the Surrogate's Court at a cost of $10.00 per Bond.
    Source: See
          The laws of the State of New Jersey provide for the assets of the intestate estate to be distributed to the next of kin by "intestate succession" as follows:
    I. If you die leaving a spouse but no children, grandchildren or parents, the surviving spouse receives all.
II. If you die leaving a spouse and children who are also the children of the spouse, the spouse receives the first $50,000 plus one-half of the balance of the estate. The children receive the other one-half of the balance divided equally amongst them. If one of your children dies leaving children then your grandchildren take their deceased's parent's share. However, if all of your children have died before you then all of your grandchildren will share equally.
III. If you die leaving a spouse and children who are not also the children of that spouse, the spouse receives one-half, the children receive one-half divided equally and, if applicable, the grandchildren take their deceased parent's share unless all the children are deceased. Should that occur, all the grandchildren share equally.
IV. If you die leaving children but no spouse, the children receive all divided equally among them. If there are grandchildren, they take their deceased parent's share, unless all the children are deceased. In that event, all the grandchildren share equally.
V. If you die leaving a spouse but no children or grandchildren, and if your mother or father is still living, your spouse receives the first $50,000 of your estate plus one-half of the balance and your parents (or parent, if only one survives you) receives the remainder.
VI. If you die leaving no spouse, no children, no grandchildren, no grandchildren and one or both of you parents survive you, the surviving parent or parents take all divided equally. If no parent survives, then your surviving brothers and sisters receive all divided equally.
VII. If you die leaving no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, brothers or sisters, then the estate will be divided equally among those people surviving you in the closest degree of kinship (starting with nieces and nephews) until an heir is found if possible.
VIII. If you die leaving no surviving next of kin without a Will, your estate assets escheat to the State of New Jersey.
    In a related manner, in addition to the appointment of an Administrator for an intestate estate, if the count resident dies leaving a child under 18 years of age and there is no other legal guardian for that minor child, then the County Surrogate must appoint that minor child's guardian. The procedure for this appointment is similar to the application and bonding process for an Administrator in the sense that the law gives certain family members priority to serve as guardian of the deceased's minor child, while allowing those lower on the priority ladder to serve as long as the appropriate written renunciations have been received by the Surrogate. (In contrast, if the person who died had a will, the deceased could have designated the guardian(s) of his/her minor child in the will and this designation would have been binding upon the Surrogate and all others.

    Source: See Copyright 2018 Vercammen Law