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Estate Planning to Protect the Family Legacy

May 5, 2021 | Written by: John G. Manfreda, Esq. |

The legal practice area known as “Estate Planning” is quite broad. It includes the preparation of estate planning documents as well as the development of gift tax planning strategies designed to maximize the transfer tax shelter techniques available in the tax code. A gift-transfer of assets can also help to shelter those assets from the cost of providing long-term healthcare and nursing home services to senior clients. However, families often neglect to ask their attorney for assistance in taking the necessary steps to protect these assets once they are distributed.

If a family member receives a distribution from your estate, or if you gift-transfer assets to a family member, the manner in which those assets are held by that beneficiary is critical. For example, if the assets are commingled by the beneficiary with his or her marital assets, then those assets lose their character as inherited or gifted assets and become marital assets that are subject to equitable distribution claims if the beneficiary were to be divorced. Moreover, creditors can levy against and seize those distributed assets to satisfy judgment claims against the beneficiary. Finally, a beneficiary may need wealth management and financial guidance so that the inherited assets are held and invested in a prudent manner to provide a maximum financial return to the beneficiary and his or her family members for the longest possible time.

Thus, estate and gift tax planning is important for the average New Jersey resident, even if he or she does not have an estate that is large enough to be subject to federal estate tax. Call us for a consultation. We can explain how the estate tax code works and how you can best protect the interests of family members who inherit your assets.

John G. Manfreda


John G. Manfreda, Esq, is a partner with Gebhardt & Kiefer, PC. His primary practice areas involve estate and business planning; estate and trust administrationcorporate, commercial and real estate law, including asset protection planning; business succession planning and related transactional work; and the purchase and sale of businesses. He also has considerable experience in the area of probate litigation, including will contests and the defense of individual and corporate fiduciaries. Contact Mr. Manfreda at 908-735-5161 or via email.

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Any statements made herein are solely for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice.