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  • Aug 12, 2019Norris McLaughlin Expands Estate Planning and Administration Group

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Shauna M. Deans as an Associate of the firm.  She joins the firm’s Estate Planning & Administration Practice Group.

    “Joining Norris McLaughlin is an exciting step in my career. I’m looking forward to working with such a great team and putting my knowledge and experience to use for the firm’s clients,” Deans said.

    Deans focuses her practice on estate planning and administration, including inheritance and gift taxation. She is experienced in preparing estate and inheritance tax returns, and responding to and resolving audits of the returns. Deans counsels beneficiaries and fiduciaries of estates and trusts on marshalling assets, issues regarding basis, and maximizing of tax savings.

    “With the addition of Shauna, we are expanding our team of estate planning and administration attorneys to better serve our clients and their needs. With her breadth of knowledge, Shauna will be a valuable resource to not only the group, but the entire firm,” stated James J. Costello, Jr., Co-Chair of the firm’s Trust, Estate, and Individual Tax Group.

    Deans is also certified by the State of New Jersey as a civil mediator, and has assisted parties in the settlement of special civil, small claims, and landlord/tenant matters on behalf of the Court.

    While attending law school, Deans served as a Senior Articles Editor for the Howard Law Journal, where her article entitled “The Forgotten Side of the Battlefield in America’s War on Infidelity: A Call for the Revamping, Reviving, and Reworking of Criminal Conversation and Alienation of Affections,” was published. During and after law school, she clerked for the Honorable Frederick J. Schuck, Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County, Law Division.

    Deans received her J.D. from Howard University School of Law in 2010, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Spelman College in 2007.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shauna M. Deans | Tags: , ,

  • Jul 18, 2019Jill Lebowitz to Present at NJICLE Estate Planning Summer Institute

    Jill Lebowitz, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will present “Digging Deeper into the New Jersey Inheritance Tax” for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Education (NJICLE) Estate Planning Summer Institute. The two-day program, co-sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, will be held Thursday, July 25, and Friday, July 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. Lebowitz will be speaking on the second day at 1:40 p.m. The Institute offers 13.4 CLE credits (including 1.0 ethics/professionalism credit) and is also available as a live webcast. For more information and to register, visit njsba.com or call NJICLE at 732-214-8500.

    Lebowitz devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and counseling tax-exempt organizations. She is experienced in drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues. Lebowitz advises clients on the development of both simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning and business succession issues. She drafts estate planning instruments including wills, revocable living trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, shareholders agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.

    In addition, Lebowitz handles all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as fiduciary litigation and guardianship matters. She prepares federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns and federal gift tax returns. She is knowledgeable in drafting disclaimers and agreements regarding post-mortem planning, informal distribution agreements, judicial fiduciary accountings, and handling court proceedings to effect final distribution of estates and trusts. She also counsels individuals and financial institutions regarding their fiduciary duties as personal representatives and trustees, including advising on legal and tax issues, as well as issues in connection with administering trusts.  She also assists individuals, families, and fiduciaries with all aspects of fiduciary litigation and handles guardianship matters.

    Lebowitz regularly advises tax-exempt organizations regarding federal tax exemption issues, state charitable registration filings, and governance issues. On behalf of tax-exempt organizations, she drafts nonprofit corporation documents and prepares federal applications for tax-exempt status, state charitable registration filings, and state property tax and sales tax exemption applications. She has extensive experience advising individuals, family and corporate foundations, and tax-exempt organizations on nonprofit corporate governance, private foundation excise taxes, domestic and international grant-making, executive compensation, excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, scholarship programs, and fundraising issues.

    Lebowitz is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. She has also been selected for inclusion on the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Estate & Probate section.

    Lebowitz is a Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section and continues to serve on the Section’s Board of Consultors. She is also the Immediate Past President of the Greater Middlesex/Somerset Estate Planning Council and continues to serve on its Board of Trustees.

    Lebowitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and her B.A. from New York University.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Jill Lebowitz, News | Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Jun 26, 2019James Costello and Nicholas Dimakos to Present on Probate and Trust Litigation

    James J. Costello, Jr., a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Trusts, Estates & Tax Law Practice Group, and Nicholas J. Dimakos, an Associate of the firm, will be featured speakers at “Probate and Trust Litigation: Real-World Insights for Both Estate Litigators and Planners,” sponsored by The National Business Institute (NBI), on Tuesday, July 9, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at the Courtyard Princeton.

    The seminar will address practical ways to deal with common controversies. Presenters will explore a variety of ways to improve and build skills in handling will contest and trust fights, removing a fiduciary, handling disputes with accountings, settling disputes effectively, and learning to avoid conflicts of interest. New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania CLE credits are available. For more information or to register, please visit the NBI’s website at www.nbi-sems.com.

    Costello focuses his practice on estate planning and administration, litigation and disputes among beneficiaries, general federal and state tax law and controversies, and the formation, dissolution, purchase, sale, and mergers of all types of closely-held business entities.

    Costello represents individuals in all aspects of general and sophisticated estate planning, including drafting wills, lifetime and testamentary trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, prenuptial agreements, and cohabitation agreements, employing sophisticated strategies when warranted matters include family limited liability companies (“LLCs”), sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts (“SLATS”), dynasty trusts and charitable trusts.  He represents fiduciaries in all aspects of estate and trust administration, including preparation and filing of federal and state estate and income tax returns; representation in IRS and New Jersey Division of Taxation audits; litigation and disputes among beneficiaries; preparation and filing of federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns; and defending those returns on audit.

    Costello has published articles and lectured extensively to civic and professional groups on estate planning, elder law, and tax law topics.  He is a former Trustee and Advisory Board Council member of Alzheimer’s New Jersey (formerly known as the Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association), and a former Trustee and Secretary of the Bernardsville Library Foundation, Inc.  He currently serves on the Vestry of the Church of St. John on the Mountain in Bernardsville. Costello earned his J.D. from Western New England College School of Law, his M.L.T. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.S., cum laude, from the University of Bridgeport.

    Dimakos focuses primarily on probate and fiduciary litigation.  His practice includes all types of contested trust and estate matters, including will contests and challenges to account beneficiary designations; accounting actions involving estates, trusts, and powers of attorney; contested administrations involving challenges to and defense of the actions of fiduciaries; and trust terminations and modifications.

    Dimakos’s practice also includes guardianship litigation.  He represents healthcare facilities and family members seeking guardianship and serves as court-appointed counsel for alleged incapacitated individuals.

    Dimakos received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2011, where he was a member of the Seton Hall Law Review, served as a research assistant for two professors, and interned for the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Honorable Garrett E. Brown, Jr. (Ret.).  After graduation, Dimakos clerked for the Assignment Judge of Bergen County, the Honorable Peter E. Doyne (Ret.).  He earned his B.S., magna cum laude, from The College of New Jersey in 2008.

    Costello and Dimakos are co-authors for the firm’s New Jersey beneficiary rights law blog, Guardians of Your Will.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, James J. Costello, News, Nicholas J. Dimakos | Tags: , , , ,

  • Jun 17, 2019Norris McLaughlin Welcomes Judge Giordano to Pennsylvania Office

    The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome the Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.) as a Member of the firm.  He joins the firm’s Litigation Practice Group as Co-Chair and focuses his practice on estate and commercial litigation, and mediation and arbitration.

    Judge Giordano served as a presiding judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Third Judicial District, from 2004 through 2018. He was Northampton County’s first administrative Judge of the Orphans County Division, overseeing estates and trusts of the county, and was named to the Statewide Orphans Court Task Force, an organization charged with implementing changes to Orphans Court. Judge Giordano was also the first Judge in Pennsylvania to institute guardianship certification requirements for the protection of senior citizens.

    For fifteen years, Judge Giordano served as Judge for many jury trials and non-jury trials, hearings and motions, and a wide range of disputes under Pennsylvania and Federal Law, including construction, commercial litigation, professional malpractice, CERCLA, Civil Rights, condemnations, labor and land use appeals, criminal, and domestic relations.

    As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Giordano is certified through Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute in Advanced Mediation, is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, and is affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation.

    Judge Giordano is a member of Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society, and the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, he was the first judicial recipient to receive the Lehigh Valley Crime Victims Council Award for Outstanding Commitment to Victim’s Rights. He was also a recipient of the Bethlehem Catholic High School Distinguished Graduate Award.

    Judge Giordano earned his J.D. in 1985 from Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Moravian College in 1982. A proud Moravian College alumnus, he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for Undergraduate classes. Born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents, Judge Giordano was the first to attend high school and is a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School.

     

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Litigation, News | Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Jun 12, 2019Norris McLaughlin Members Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court

    The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is proud to announce that Members of the firm, Robert E. Donatelli and Rebecca J. Price, were admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, June 10, at the 2019 Bar Association of Lehigh County (BALC) Bench Bar Conference & Supreme Court of the United States Admissions Ceremony in Washington, D.C

    Michelle M. Forsell, Of Counsel to the firm, moved for admission to the Court for 21 members of The Bar Association of Lehigh County, including Donatelli and Price.  “It was an honor to move members of my local bar association for admission to the Supreme Court,” said Forsell. “And to have Bob and Rebecca included in those members made it even more meaningful for me.”

    The Annual Bench Bar Conference is a 3-day event for BALC judges, attorneys, and others. The weekend included a cocktail reception, CLE seminars, group activities, and a formal Sunday brunch. For more information, please click here.

    Donatelli has over 40 years of experience in estate administration, wills and trusts, and real estate law. He helps clients with all aspects of estate planning – will preparation, tax issues, guardianships, powers of attorney, living wills, living trusts, and special needs trusts; and estate administration – the process of probate, valuing and managing the estate, and executing decisions on guardianships and conservatorship. In real estate law, he advises clients on residential and commercial sales transactions, real estate contracts, mortgages, re-finances, foreclosures, eminent domain, title insurance, and title disputes. Donatelli is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. He is a former solicitor of the Register of Wills of Lehigh County; currently serves as Chair of the City of Allentown, Board of Ethics; is active in the Bar Association of Lehigh County, where he served as President in 1985; and is a member of the Barristers Inn of Court, where he served as President. Donatelli received his J.D. from University of Kansas School of Law in 1963 and his A.B. from Muhlenberg College in 1960.

    As a commercial litigator, Price represents clients in the eastern counties of Pennsylvania, the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, and the District of New Jersey. She is involved in complex commercial business litigation, landlord/tenant matters, and contract disputes. In her general litigation practice, Price represents numerous insurance companies’ insureds in a wide spectrum of civil matters, and has also represented clients in personal injury matters. She represents local and out-of-state banks in bankruptcy, complex foreclosures, receiverships, and asset recovery matters, including negotiating deed in lieu transfers and confession of judgment for ejectment and money proceedings. She has also defended clients in actions to open or strike judgments entered by confession. She received her J.D. from William and Mary School of Law in 2007 and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Ohio State University in 2004.

    Forsell focuses her practice primarily on estate planning and administration, and municipal law. She represents clients in all aspects of estate planning, including the preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives, with careful analysis to minimize the tax liabilities resulting from such planning. Former Solicitor to the Borough of East Greenville, she is experienced in drafting and implementing resolutions and ordinances, complying with the Right to Know law, and dealing with zoning and land use issues and tax appeals. Forsell serves as a Montgomery County Arbitrator, and teaches law courses at Cedar Crest College. She is a board member of the Gulack Foundation, the Upper Perkiomen YMCA, the Villanova Law Inn of Court, and the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce. She is secretary of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Governance Committee of Frederick Living, a Mennonite Health Services not-for-profit continuing care retirement community. Forsell received her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 2003, her M.A. from Temple University in 2006, and her B.A. from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 1999.

    Posted in: Banking & Financial Services, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Estate Planning & Administration, Litigation, Michelle M. Forsell, News, Rebecca J. Price, Robert E. Donatelli, Taxation | Tags: , , ,

  • Apr 23, 2019Nichole Cipriani Presented to P.G. Chambers School Parents

    Nichole A. Cipriani, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., presented “Estate Planning 101 and Planning for Children with Special Needs” to parents at P.G. Chambers School (PGCS) in Cedar Knolls, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., on April 11, hosted by the P.G. Chambers Home School Association.  Cipriani discussed why having an estate plan is important and why an attorney is necessary.  She explained estate planning documents, wills, probate, inherited assets, power of attorney, death and transfer taxes, different types of trusts, 529 savings accounts, ABLE accounts, qualified disability expenses, guardianships, and charitable gifts.

    Serving ten counties in northern New Jersey, PGCS helps children with disabilities lead full, productive lives; develop confidence in their own unique abilities; and engage in the community through education and therapy. Abbey M. Horwitz, a Member of the firm, is an active volunteer with P.G. Chambers School, a member of the P.G. Chambers Board of Trustees, serves on the Development Committee, and coordinated and created the presentation.  Her daughter has been a student at the school for the past five years.  For more information about PGCS, visit www.chambersschool.org.

    A resident of Bernardsville, Cipriani devotes her practice to estate and tax planning, estate administration, guardianship, and fiduciary litigation.  She assists individuals and families with business succession planning, special needs and disability planning, and international estate planning.  She is experienced in preparing wills, insurance trusts, revocable trusts, qualified domestic trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts, charitable trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, special needs trusts, supplemental benefits trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.

    Cipriani has extensive experience representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service, preparing filings for individuals and legal entities, including Forms 706, 709, 990 and 1041, drafting and filing Tax Court petitions and Private Letter Ruling requests, and negotiating Innocent Spouse relief.  She is Co-Chair of the Elder, Estates and Trusts Committee of the Somerset County Bar Association.  She earned her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, where she was a Presidential Scholar, and her B.S. from Emory University.  Cipriani is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and New York.

    Horwitz, a resident of Cedar Grove, practices primarily in the area of estate planning and administration.  She is experienced in preparing wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, advance directives for health care, and other estate planning documents.  She is also experienced in administering estates and trusts, including counseling executors and trustees; preparing estate, trust, and guardianship pleadings; preparing estate and trust accountings; preparing estate tax returns; handling estate tax audits; and preparing releases and waivers for distributions from estates and trusts.

    In addition, Horwitz has experience preparing corporate and LLC filings, including certificates of incorporation, articles of organization, bylaws, operating agreements, and IRC 501(c)(3) filings.

    Horwitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from Villanova University in 2018, her J.D. from New York Law School, where she received the Carbonell Fellowship in Law and Policy, in 2006, and her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000.

    Posted in: A. Nichole Cipriani, Abbey M. Horwitz, Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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