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I find that clients often use the terms “estate tax” and “inheritance tax” interchangeably. Usually, that isn’t a problem, and I know exactly what they are talking about. However, in New Jersey there really is a distinction between the “estate tax” and the “inheritance tax.” This is New Jersey, after all — so we have two taxes. Go figure!

In a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that the estate of a deceased spouse who died while her divorce matter was pending, was entitled to assert equitable claims against the surviving spouse. The case of Kay v. Kay, 405 N.J. Super 278 (App. Div. 2009), aff’d, ____ N.J. ___ (2010), was a logical extension of the Supreme Court’s decision in Carr v. Carr, 120 N.J. 336 (1990) and a rejection of the case of Kruzdlo v. Kruzdlo, 251 N.J. Super. 70 (Ch. Div. 1990).

Wills, Trusts & Estates Blog

Roth IRA Conversion

January 31, 2010 | by Einhorn Barbarito

Lost among all of the talk about Federal estate tax repeal, is one of the greatest opportunities that Congress has given to many of my clients in years — the uncapped Roth IRA conversion opportunity. Until 2010, a Traditional IRA could only be converted to a Roth IRA by a taxpayer with adjusted gross income of less than $100,000. However, starting this year, anyone can convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, regardless of the amount of adjusted gross income earned in the year. In analyzing the benefits of a Roth IRA conversion, I have found that most of my clients will achieve significant benefits from converting. Among the benefits achieved are:

Wills, Trusts & Estates Blog

Please Hold Your Applause

January 22, 2010 | by Einhorn Barbarito

So the day that we thought would never get here, is here. On January 1, 2010, the Federal estate tax was repealed. Yes, you heard me right. There is no longer a Federal estate tax. So let’s assume that when Bill Gates gets a look at the new Apple tablet computing device, he is so overcome with fear that he drops dead. Even though in real life he is an extremely philanthropic guy, assume that he has a will that leaves his entire fortune to his children. So the kids inherit $50,000,000,000 tax free in 2010, and the IRS receives nothing. If Bill had the same plan and died in 2009, the IRS would have received over $22,000,000,000 (all those zeroes mean we are talking about billions of dollars). If Bill dies in 2011, anything over $1,000,000 (these zeroes mean one million dollars) will be subject to Federal estate taxes at rates as high as 55%.

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