Ice & Snow – Remove It Before You Go | Toms River Attorney

Break out that snow shovel or snow blower and the snow brush and scraper! That beautiful coat of white snow atop your driveway, sidewalk and car could cost you greatly if you don’t remove it.

Property

As a property owner, you have legal obligations to keep your property clean, safe and free of ice. Not only could you face fines, but you could also face a lawsuit if someone is hurt. For instance, Toms River will penalize you $100 for your first offense and $200 for each subsequent offense up to $1,000.00 (each day is a separate offense). Brick is cracking down as well, and the ordinance dealing with penalties is a default provision which indicates a fine not to exceed $2,000 or no more than 90 days community service. There are also time limits within which you must have the snow removed. Check your local municipality for exact time frames.

What’s worse is that if you do not shovel the snow, and someone is injured because of that, you may be liable for their injuries. Property owners must use reasonable care in keeping their property safe, and if someone gets hurt because of an unsafe condition, that owner may be brought into a lawsuit.

Although you may be an expert shoveler, sometimes you may miss a spot. So you should ensure you have liability insurance coverage to pay the cost of your legal defense and any court awards (up to the limit of your policy) should someone be injured on your property and sue you. Check with your insurance agent for the best coverage.

Vehicles

Not only is there a requirement to keep your property safe, but in New Jersey, you break the law when you do not remove the ice and snow from your vehicle.

Ice & Snow – Remove It Before You Go

I’m sure you’ve seen the famous and oh-so-clever jingle on your way to work, but it is a serious law in New Jersey. You have to remove all the ice and snow from your vehicle before driving it on the road — from the hood, windows and roof. If you don’t, you face fines from $25 to $75 for each offense whether or not the ice or snow is dislodged from your car. The fines are increased if ice or snow flies off your car or truck and causes property damage or injury to others: $200 to $1,000 for each offense. And don’t forget the ever-impending civil lawsuit for injuries that could always come your way if your negligence causes another driver’s injuries in an accident.

According to www.nj.gov, there are approximately 500 fatalities in the United States per year due to winter road conditions. In an effort to combat that statistic, the State of New Jersey gives the following Winter Driving Tips:

  • Drive slow (at or below the posted speed limit) and adjust your speed accordingly for the changing road conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights, using low beams when traveling in snow.
  • Increase your following distance. In winter weather, travel at least 8 to 10 seconds behind the car in front of you.
  • Give snowplows plenty of room to work. Don’t tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution in doing so. Remember, a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see him, but they don’t always see you.
  • If you skid, don’t brake or accelerate. Remove your foot from the gas, and gently steer your car in the direction of the skid (the direction the rear of your vehicle is sliding). When your car starts heading in the desired direction, carefully straighten the wheel.
  • Slow down before exiting the highway. Exit ramps often have icy patches, sharp curves and stalled and/or stopped vehicles.
  • Have a personal safety kit easily accessible in your vehicle that includes the following: an ice scraper/brush; shovel; jumper cables or battery starter; blanket; sand, salt or kitty litter for traction; lock de-icer; flashlight and new batteries; extra windshield wiper fluid; safety flares/warning device; cell phone with spare battery; water and non-perishable food (i.e., granola or protein bars); and paper towels or a cloth.
  • If your vehicle does become disabled, pull off the road as far as possible and turn on your emergency flashers. Remain with your vehicle until help arrives. If you can’t get your vehicles off the road and are uncertain about your safety, do not stay in your vehicle or stand behind it. Proceed carefully to a safe location away from traffic.

How the Law Offices of Apicelli, Costanzo & Russom can help you:

If you were seriously injured because of someone else’s negligence, call us today! Because there are time limitations on how long you have to file a lawsuit, it is very important that you do not sit on your rights. If the accident lawyers here at the Law Offices of Apicelli, Costanzo & Russom take your personal injury case, we will begin work right way to make sure that we preserve as much evidence as possible to help you recover a settlement for your damages.

Our NJ car accident attorneys are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and can help you obtain an award that adequately compensates you for your injuries and suffering. As a client-focused law firm, we will not hesitate to pursue your rights in court if the responsible party refuses to make you a reasonable offer in satisfaction of your injuries.

No fees unless we recover money for you. If you retain the NJ injury lawyers here at the Law Offices of Apicelli, Costanzo & Russom to represent you on a personal injury matter, we will not charge you a fee for our services if we do not recover money for you.

Contact us today to tell us about your case and see how an experienced NJ personal injury attorney can help you.

Sender of Text to Driver Liable for Injury

It is well known that New Jersey has banned the general use of cell phones while driving (N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3). This includes texting, talking and even web surfing on your mobile phone. While the law allows the use of a cell phone under limited circumstances, the law is clear that cell phone use is no longer tolerated in this state.

A recent case has put further limits on the use of cell phones even if the person isn’t driving at all. In Kubert v. Best, it was held that the sender of a text message can be liable for injuries if a driving accident was caused because the driver of the automobile was distracted by the texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the driver-recipient would read the text while driving and thus be distracted.

In this case, David Kubert and his wife, Linda, both lost their left legs as a result of being hit by a pick-up truck driven by Kyle Best (18 years old), who crossed the double center line of the road and traveled into the Kuberts’ lane. Best called 9-1-1 15 seconds after 5:49 p.m., which was 17 seconds after Best sent a text to Shannon Colonna, a girl he had been texting all day. It was inferred that this text to her was in response to a text he received from Colonna 25 seconds earlier.

After settling their claims against Best, the Kuberts brought suit against Colonna, arguing that she is liable to them if her text to Best was a proximate cause of the accident. Colonna was not held liable, as the evidence was insufficient against her.

It is not enough to establish that the text sender sent the message to a specific person, even if the sender knew the recipient was then driving. It was concluded that proof of liability is sufficient where the text sender knew the text recipient was then driving, that the text sender knew or had special reason to know that the driver would read the text message while driving, and would thus be distracted from attending to the road and the operation of the vehicle. A text sender can safely assume that the driver-recipient will view and read the text message when it is safe to do so. However, if the text sender knows that the driver-recipient will view and read the text message immediately upon receipt, then the text sender has distracted the driver and can be fairly held liable for the results.

The way to avoid a result like this is easy: DO NOT SEND TEXT MESSAGES TO PEOPLE YOU KNOW ARE CURRENTLY DRIVING. Otherwise, a text sent to a driver can make you just as liable for causing an accident as the one behind the wheel.

Proposed Anti-Gun Laws in New Jersey

In the wake of one of the most—probably the most—devastating and horrendous shooting massacres in recent history, which occurred at the hand of Adam Lanza in Newton, Connecticut, anti- and pro-firearms activists around the country have called for a re-examination of the current laws in effect controlling the rights of Americans to own and bear firearms. Whether you own firearms, despise them, or are indifferent to them, you probably have an opinion on how mass-murdering shooters like Adam Lanza or James Holmes, the Batman shooter, can be prohibited or prevented from getting their hands on firearms. Most propose New Jersey anti-gun laws, rather than pro-gun laws. Legislators of the State of New Jersey have heard the opinions of the people and firearms activists and have proposed quite a number of laws that they hope can halt the risk of mass-shootings at its core. The following is a short synopsis of the major bills proposed in the State of New Jersey:

  • Assembly Bill 3664 sponsored by Representatives Joseph Cryan (D), Jason O’Donnell (D), and Mila Jasey (D). “This bill revises the definition of ‘large capacity ammunition magazine’ to reduce the number of rounds of ammunition a legal magazine may hold in this State. Under current law, it is unlawful to own or possess an ammunition magazine that is capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition. This bill would reduce the maximum capacity of a legal ammunition magazine in New Jersey to five rounds.”
  • Assembly Bill 3676 sponsored by Representative Angelica Jimenez (D). “This bill would require any person applying for a firearms purchaser identification card or permit to purchase a handgun to submit the results of a psychological evaluation before being issued the card or permit. Under the bill, the Superintendant of State Police would be responsible for issuing guidelines concerning the content of the psychological examination, the qualifications necessary to administer the psychological examination, maintaining confidentiality of the subject of the examination, compliance with federal law, and any other guideline the superintendant deems necessary. The bill also would require applicants to have an on-site inspection and evaluation of the household where the firearm will be located.”
  • Assembly Bill 3688 sponsored by Representatives Charles Mainor (D) and Angelica Jimenez (D). “This bill would require any person applying for a firearms purchaser identification card or handgun purchase permit to submit the results of a mental health evaluation as a prerequisite for issuance of the card or permit. The bill also would require applicants to submit a list of the names of every person residing in the applicant’s household and whether the person has a mental illness. In light of the recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 six- and seven-year old students and six adults were killed by a gunman with a history of mental illness, it is the sponsor’s intent that any person in this State who wants to purchase a firearm must first meet a certain standard of mental capacity to do so.”
  • Assembly Bill 3666 sponsored by Representatives Joseph Cryan (D), Jason O’Donnell (D), and Mila Jasey (D). “This bill would make mail order, Internet, telephone, and any other anonymous method of ammunition sale or transfer illegal in New Jersey. The provisions of the bill require that all ammunition sales and transfers be consummated as face-to-face transactions and that at the time of the sale or transfer the purchaser or recipient display a valid form of picture identification to the person selling or transferring the ammunition. Face-to-face transactions are defined as sales or transfers in which the purchaser, transferee, or assignee is in the physical presence of the seller, transferor, or assigner. Under the bill, a violator would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Federal and State licensees and dealers, law enforcement agencies and officials, and collectors when purchasing, acquiring, or transferring ammunition which is recognized as being historical in nature or of historical significance, are exempted from the provisions of the bill.”
  • Senate Bill 2464 sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner (D). “This bill would regulate the sale of rifle and shotgun ammunition. Under the provisions of the bill, only individuals who hold and can display a valid firearms purchaser identification card, a valid copy of a permit to purchase a handgun, a valid permit to carry a handgun, or a valid New Jersey hunting license would be permitted to purchase and possess rifle or shotgun ammunition in this State. The bill exempts individuals who are collectors of firearms or ammunition as curios or relics who purchase, receive, acquire, possess, or transfer rifle ammunition or shotgun ammunition which is recognized as being historical in nature or of historical significance. The bill also provides an exemption for law enforcement personnel and law enforcement purposes. In addition, the bill permits the transfer of some ammunition for use in a lawfully transferred firearm for (1) use on a firing range operated by a licensed dealer, a law enforcement agency, a legally recognized military organization, or a registered rifle or pistol club; (2) hunting; or (3) training purposes. The bill’s restrictions on the sale and possession of ammunition do not apply to blank ammunition, air gun pellets, flare gun ammunition, nail gun ammunition, paint ball ammunition, or any non-fixed ammunition.”
  • Assembly Bill 3659 sponsored by Representative Peter Barnes (D). “This bill amends N.J.S.2C:39-1 to revise the definition of ‘destructive device’ so that it includes weapons of 50 caliber or greater. Although it centers primarily on devices or instruments designed to explode or produce uncontrolled combustion, the current statutory definition of ‘destructive device’ also includes weapons which fire projectiles of greater than 60 caliber. Under the bill and subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:39-3, it would be unlawful to possess a firearm having a caliber of 50 or greater. A person violating this provision would be guilty of a crime of the third degree. A crime of the third degree is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000, imprisonment for three to five years, or both. The bill does, however, provide exemptions for 1) antique firearms; 2) antique handguns; 3) muzzleloader rifles; and 4) black powder muzzleloaders having in-line ignition, a center hammer or an under hammer which have been approved for hunting in this State. These firearms would continue to be governed by the statute’s current ‘greater than 60 caliber’ restriction. Antique firearms and handguns are defined in the statutes as firearms which: (1) do not fire fixed ammunition or were manufactured before 1898 and for which fixed ammunition is not commercially available; and (2) are possessed as a curiosity or ornament or for their historical significance or value.  The statutory definition of ‘antique handgun’ includes replicas; under this bill, ‘antique firearm’ and ‘antique cannon’ are also defined to include replicas. The bill defines a muzzleloader rifle to mean a single shot, single barrel, side lock percussion or flintlock firearm with iron or peep sights, or with a fiber optic sight or scope, and a stock made of wood or any synthetic material. The bill also excludes from the definition of a destructive device any firearm with a bore diameter larger than 60 caliber whose principle means of ignition are traditional flintlock or caplock and whose principle propellant is black powder.  This would allow the possession of certain weapons greater than 60 caliber currently used by revolutionary war re-enactors. Under the provisions of the bill, it would be unlawful for anyone to possess a prohibited firearm of 50 caliber or greater. The bill, however, grants individuals who lawfully own one of these prohibited firearms one year in which to dispose of them. To facilitate the voluntary surrender of these firearms, the bill authorizes the Superintendent of State Police to establish a buyback program. Funding for this program is to be provided by the Attorney General from the proceeds acquired from the property and valuables forfeited by convicted criminals. Those not wishing to participate in this buyback program may (1) sell their prohibited firearm to someone who is authorized to lawfully possess it or (2) render the prohibited firearm inoperable and so notify the appropriate law enforcement agency. Finally, the bill affords immunity from prosecution to individuals during the interim between the effective date of the bill and the actual establishment of the buyback program. Thereafter, the bill affords immunity from prosecution to individuals for their actions associated with their participation in the buyback programs.”

NOTE: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is neither intended nor should it be interpreted to be legal advice or opinion.

DWI: Ignition-Lock Device instead of License Suspension? | Toms River Attorney

A bill was approved by the Senate panel on Monday, January 28, 2013, that would make the mandatory installation of ignition-interlock devices the main penalty in most drunk-driving matters rather than license suspension. The bill was advanced by a 12-0 vote, with one abstention.

Under the bill, first-time DUI offenders could continue driving their vehicles as long as the mandated ignition-interlock devices are installed. Ignition interlock devices allow the vehicle to start if the driver produces a clean breath sample. The devices typically require intermittent samples to allow the continued operation of the vehicle as well. Second or subsequent DWI offenders would need a restricted-use license which would allow only work-related or other driving travel set by a judge for at least the first year the interlock device is installed in the offender’s vehicle.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI (also known as Driving Under the Influence, or DUI), you should contact an experienced attorney. The Law Offices of Apicelli & Costanzo provides aggressive representation against all DWI and traffic offenses. We are dedicated to mitigating the adverse consequences posed by DWI and motor vehicle offenses. Our firm has represented many clients that have received traffic summonses in the municipal courts of Toms River, Ocean County, and across the entire State of New Jersey. Contact us, and let us assist you in protecting your rights.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and is neither intended nor should it be interpreted to be legal advice or opinion.

Governor Christie & the Doggie Seat Belt Law | Toms River Attorney

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently stated that he won’t be signing a proposed law that would require drivers to secure their dogs and cats with a harness much like a seat belt while driving. Governor Christie believes that lawmakers are wasting their time considering the proposal while what the State of New Jersey really needs is tax cuts, ethics reforms, and a boost in revenue and employment rates.

This reminds me of how everyone reacted when they realized that the United States Congress was holding hearings on professional baseball and the use of steroids. Don’t you think the State of New Jersey (and the United States Congress) might have better things to do with its time? Governor Christie said that he can’t believe that the State is wasting its time considering such a law. “This will tell you everything you need to know about how New Jersey runs under the Democrats,” said Christie on a local radio show.

The proposed bill is supported by Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, a Newark Democrat who apparently owns a Pomeranian named A.J., five cats, and a rabbit. Violators of the law would receive a $25.00 ticket which could escalate to even higher fines. Christie said that if this law gets past the Legislature, he would not put his name anywhere near it.

Assemblywoman Spencer, a liability-law attorney, said the problem she seeks to eliminate is a big-ticket issue compared to driving distractions such as texting, talking on your phone, and recalculating your GPS while driving. I can see where Governor Christie is coming from, though. Don’t cats always land on their feet? And don’t dogs like hanging their head out the window and feeling the wind blasting them in the face? A seat belt would hinder them from doing these things. I guess both points of view should be given equal weight.

What do you think?

National Estate Planning Awareness Week | Toms River Attorney

Are you one of the estimated 120 million people that do not have an up-to-date estate plan?  October 15th through October 21st is National Estate Planning Awareness Week and an excellent reminder to make sure your affairs are in order, in the event of illness or an unexpected accident. All too often, people neglect proper planning, believing that they will not benefit from estate planning or that there will always be time to “do it later.” This month, take the time to plan for your future.

Estate planning is an important process that can help protect you, your family, and your assets. If your estate plan is not up to date, and you are incapacitated or unexpectedly pass away, your loved ones may be unable to manage your affairs or manage them in the way you would wish. Proper estate planning can not only save you and your loved ones significant amounts of money, but it also gives you peace of mind.

Most people should have at least three documents in their estate plan, including a Power of Attorney, Last Will and Testament, and a Living Will. For more information on each of these documents, please review our estate planning section and call us if you would like to schedule an appointment to have your estate plan updated.

In support of National Estate Planning Awareness Week, the Law Offices of Apicelli & Costanzo is offering a 10% discount off one estate planning document during the month of October.

New Jersey Law Banning Replacement Referees | Toms River Attorney

Should New Jersey implement a law that bans replacement referees in professional sports? Any NFL fan knows that the NFL’s experienced union referees have been locked out by the league’s owners since June of this year. Lawmakers and NFL fans alike have called for such a law prohibiting fill-in refs citing reasons such as increased risk of player injuries to over $300 million lost in bets because of the purportedly botched call during the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks and even disgruntled Fantasy Football owners (such as myself).

“This past weekend… the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety,” said State Senate President Steve Sweeney, according to the Bergen Record. “We wouldn’t allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?” Sweeney’s other concern is that the fans don’t get their money’s worth when the outcome of an important game hinges on the thought process of a referee who might only have experience in the lower levels of Division II and III college football.

Is this a good idea? Or should New Jersey State Legislators keep their hands out the professional sports cookie jar?

What do you think?

The “Jersey Shore” Snookiville Law: New Jersey Bill A-3273

In the last few years, reality TV has seen a spike in ratings from filming drunken stars and the shenanigans that stem from their impetuous non-sobriety. A new law proposed in New Jersey could give towns more say when it comes to regulating the sometimes unpleasant effects of those events.

The Snookiville Law, Bill A-3273, was named for Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, star of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” The legislation would permit towns to regulate production and filming of reality television shows and impose fees and conditions on crews for additional police surveillance and presence during filming.

The cast of the “Jersey Shore” were involved in scuffles and fights while usually in an inebriated condition during their stint in Seaside Heights. Law enforcement routinely was called to the boardwalk while the show was taping. The Borough of Seaside Heights made its own arrangements with the show’s producers to cover the costs associated with bringing more police officers to the scene.

“New Jersey has a tradition of being a desirable location for reality TV shows such as ‘Jersey Shore,’ ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ and ‘Cake Boss,’” New Jersey assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R), who introduced the bill, said. “These shows can attract crowds, which can benefit local businesses and challenge a community’s resources.” Dancer says the bill “will permit local officials to make sure taxpayers don’t get ‘Snook’-ered or public safety is compromised.”

“It’s designed to provide towns with an option. It’s not a mandate, but an option,” Dancer said. “For a local municipal to license filming as a special event, we can better manage and plan to prevent poor situations, such as crowds, traffic congestion and drunkenness.”

“Reality TV can be an asset to a host community, as long as we remember that these shows may cost taxpayers money by requiring additional services when cameras are rolling in town,” Dancer said.

Snooki and co-star Jennifer “JWoww” Farley have been filming their own series in Manchester, a few miles west of Seaside Heights. There have been no reported problems with the filming to date.

Dancer says he hopes the law will go into effect by the end of 2012. Do you think this is a good idea?

Traffic Tickets and the Impact on Auto Insurance Rates | Toms River Traffic Ticket Attorney

Here’s a big question posed by you drivers out there: Will my car insurance rates go up if I plead guilty to or send in the payment for the fine for a traffic ticket? Well, the answer to that question is: YES! A recent survey performed by Insurance.com, which compiled data from over 49,000 auto insurance quotes given to drivers, revealed that those found guilty of the 14 most common traffic tickets issued to drivers saw an increase in their car insurance premiums up to twenty-two percent (22%). Consequently, a majority of these traffic offenses carry DMV points that will be added on your driving record if you plead guilty to or simply pay the fine.

For example, if your auto insurance premium was $83.33 a month ($1,000.00 annual payment), your monthly car insurance payment could increase up to $101.66 a month ($1,220.00 annual payment) for getting a traffic ticket. That means that you could be paying $220.00 extra for auto insurance per year just for being convicted of one motor vehicle offense!

Since motor vehicle convictions cannot be expunged in New Jersey, another harsh consequence that follows from this is that it could take several years for your insurance premiums to go down. The New Jersey expungement statute (N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1) does not apply to traffic violations. This also applies to driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) convictions because DWI/DUI is a motor vehicle, not criminal, offense in New Jersey.

The following is a table, based on Insurance.com’s analysis, on how much the 10 most common traffic ticket infractions will impact your auto insurance rates, on average:

Reckless driving (N.J.S.A. 39:4-96)

22% increase

DWI/DUI first offense (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50)

19% increase

Driving without a license or permit (N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2)

18% increase

Careless driving (N.J.S.A. 39:4-97)

16% increase

Speeding 30 mph over the limit (N.J.S.A. 39:4-98)

15% increase

Failure to stop at red light/stop sign (N.J.S.A. 39:4-120.9/39:4-144)

15% increase

Speeding 15 to 29 mph over the limit (N.J.S.A. 39:4-98)

12% increase

Speeding up to 14 mph over the limit (N.J.S.A. 39:4-98)

11% increase

No car insurance (N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2)

6% increase

Failure to wear seat belt (N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2f)

3% increase

 

 

 

 

 

 

To read the whole article, click here: http://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/rate-increases-and-traffic-tickets.aspx.

If you’ve been charged with a motor vehicle offense or DWI (also known as Driving Under the Influence, or DUI), you should contact an experienced attorney. The Law Offices of Apicelli & Costanzo can provide aggressive representation against all DWI and traffic tickets. We are dedicated to mitigating the adverse consequences posed by DWI infractions and motor vehicle offenses. Our firm has represented many clients that have received traffic summonses in the municipal courts of Toms River, Ocean County, and across the entire State of New Jersey. Contact us, and let us assist you in protecting your rights and avoiding the harsh consequences that these traffic ticket violations and DWI offenses can pose.

Estate planning attorney: The importance of Wills for younger people

The term “estate planning” is an unfortunate misnomer which causes people to think only the wealthy or those with large “estates” need to engage in planning. Another unfortunate misconception is that only the elderly need to engage in estate planning. Estate planning can help everyone save money, make sure they receive proper care, and have their wishes respected by doctors and medical care providers. Estate planning can include setting up a will, power of attorney, and living will. This blog post explores how a will can help a younger person.

How can a will help a young person?

A will is the document that outlines how you wish your estate to be distributed when you pass away. While you may think that you do not have enough money or assets to justify the expense of a will, you are likely mistaken. If you pass away without a will, you are said to die “intestate.” If you do not leave a surviving spouse, this means that your heirs will have to apply to the local Surrogate’s court to have an administrator approved for your estate. Once approved, they will also have to purchase a bond, which functions like an insurance policy guarding against possible nefarious acts by the administrator. The bond must be renewed just like any other insurance policy, adding more expenses and meaning that more of your estate will be spent paying costs to the government and third-party companies instead of your heirs.

If you have a will when you pass away, you can select an executor (the person who will administer your estate) and even waive the requirement that they spend your money purchasing a bond until your estate is fully administered. In many cases, the cost of a simple will is less than the bond alone. Even if the only thing your will does is waive the bond requirement, you will save money which can be passed along to your heirs.

For those with children, a will can be an extremely important tool that allows you to appoint a guardian for minor children in the event both parents pass away and appoint trustees to hold the minor child’s inheritance.

What is the monetary threshold where administration becomes necessary?

If you pass away without a will and are a resident of New Jersey, administration through the Surrogate’s court is necessary when you have $10,000.00 upon your passing. The $10,000.00 threshold is not hard to meet—do you own a car? Have a bank account? Own real estate?  Investments like CDs, stocks, and bonds where a beneficiary is not named? Once the threshold is met, expensive and time-consuming court proceedings will have to be opened to appoint someone to distribute your estate. The cost of a simple will could help your loved ones avoid these expenses and headaches.

There are a number of other reasons that engaging in estate planning and having a will drawn is beneficial for young people. If you would like an estate planning attorney to prepare a will for you, please do not hesitate contact us.