Last week the NJ Legislature passed a bill which will replenish the transportation trust fund by increasing the New Jersey gas tax by 23 cents per gallon. Governor Christie is expected to sign it this week. What does this have to do with your divorce?
As I have discussed in a previous blog, Family Mediation: Planning for the Future 2-18-2014, persons getting divorced or those recently divorced should redo their financial planning documents, including their Last Will and Testament. Couples usually have named their spouses in their Wills, Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives for Healthcare. The same couples usually do not want to have their former spouses as beneficiaries of their estate, as their attorney-in-fact or their proxy for healthcare decisions, hence the documents should be revisited and revised. This is even more important now since the bill also includes the raising of the the estate tax exemption for the NJ Estate Tax in 2017 to $2,000,000 and the elimination of the NJ Estate Tax by January, 2018. Any financial planning documents your attorney prepared included your decisions in regard to tax planning based on the existence of the NJ Estate Tax as well as the NJ Inheritance Tax. These documents may now be outdated.
The changes to these documents might be part of your divorce settlement agreement. As a mediator I can help you with these decisions and include them in your agreement. If you are already divorced, I can advise you individually as to the changes in the law and review your documents so you can make informed decisions in regard to updating these documents.