• How do I pass down my New Jersey business to family?
    If you own a business in the Garden State and you want to pass it on to your family members as part of your estate plan, you need to consider some key steps and concepts. New Jersey business succession planning is the process of preparing for the transfer of ownership and management of your business when you retire, die or become incapacitated. Identify your goals and objectives What do you want to achieve with your...
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  • When should you make changes to your estate plan?
    Although you’ve put in a lot of thought and work to create your initial estate plan, it’s important to realize that these documents should change as major life events occur. Otherwise, your estate assets might end up passing down to someone you never intended to inherit in the first place. Neglecting to update your estate plan can also create confusion, which could lead to litigation over your estate. As a result, your loved ones might...
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  • What items are included in an estate inventory?
    Being appointed an executor for an estate in New Jersey comes with many responsibilities. As part of your executor duties, you must identify and locate all estate assets, value them and distribute them to the intended heirs and/or use them to pay off the estate debts. Once you have identified and located the assets, you need to prepare an inventory of the state. The inventory should also include the estate’s debts. It can help to...
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  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts
    Planning your estate can involve much more than writing your will. Depending on your goals, you may consider creating a trust. Trusts can be tailored for many purposes, but they are especially useful for protecting assets. Like your will, a trust can provide for your loved ones or favorite charities after your death, but it can also protect your assets while you are alive. Living trusts The two main categories of trusts are testamentary trusts...
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  • What is an LLC operating agreement?
    The initial and most important decision for prospective business owners concerns business structure. For numerous reasons, the most popular type, the limited liability corporation (LLC), melds the advantages of a partnership with those of a corporation. Despite that, people recommend that the entity have an operating agreement to address issues that state law would otherwise determine. How many topics should the agreement address? A written document, the operating agreement is a legal contract that provides...
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  • Estate planning for special needs children
    When they are planning their estates, many New Jersey residents have their adult children and grandchildren as their top priorities. They hope to leave a legacy that will make life easier for their loved ones into future generations. One way to do this is by creating a trust that will protect assets and provide income for many years to come. For parents of children who have special needs, the goals are similar: They want their...
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  • Executors and other fiduciaries have important legal duties
    Like other states, New Jersey’s probate process relies on an estate administrator to gather a deceased person’s property, pay off all valid claims and distribute the balance to the person’s heirs. The property they have authority over is not their own. It belongs to a person’s estate and will ultimately go to the heirs. This is why the administrator has what is called a fiduciary duty to the estate. An estate administrator is not the...
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  • What will happen to your business in your divorce?
    Many married couples in New Jersey find that starting a business together is the best way to support their families and work toward their goals. However, if the couple eventually decides to get divorced, both parties may be concerned about what will happen to the business they worked so hard to build. Is the business marital property? The first step is often to determine whether the business assets are marital property. If the business was...
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  • The advantages and disadvantages of an LLC in New Jersey
    If you just beginning to form a new business, undoubtedly, you will have done your research and have learned about the process for starting a new business and the steps that you should follow to establish your business and in what specific order those steps need to be followed. Before you can even establish your business, you must choose a business structure so that you can run your business, register it and pay taxes. Many...
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  • What does a financial power of attorney do?
    Whether it be due to a medical condition or simply a result of getting older, there may come a day when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. In case that day comes, experts recommend choosing a trustworthy and responsible person to make financial decisions on your behalf. You can assign them responsibilities during the estate planning process by signing a financial power of attorney (POA). Choosing an agent for your financial...
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Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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