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  • Feb 26, 2020Shana Siegel to Speak on Elder Care and Special Needs Law

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care and Special Needs Law Practice Group, will be speaking on elder care and special needs throughout the month of March.

    “I have dedicated my life to helping families facing aging, illness, and disability. It is imperative to take the time to learn your needs and goals and create individualized plans to give you peace of mind. By focusing on your goals, you can plan a holistic approach for both the unexpected and the inevitable,” said Siegel.

    About the Presentations

    On Tuesday, March 3, Siegel will present “Planning for Aging,” addressing getting one’s legal affairs in order and paying for long-term care, at the weekly Montclair Rotary Club lunch meeting. She will then discuss special needs planning for Hudson Milestones in Jersey City, which is an organization that offers a variety of programs to serve those who are intellectually or developmentally disabled at all stages of their life cycle, on Wednesday, March 18. These events are not open to the public, but for more information or to host a similar seminar, feel free to contact Siegel at ssiegel@norris-law.com.

    On Tuesday, March 24, Siegel will speak on health care decision-making at the “Five Wishes” workshop hosted by Westwood for All Ages in association with the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s “Conversation of Your Life” (COYL) program, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., at the Westwood Community Center. This free workshop will cover making care decisions, medical treatment, and what loved ones should know. The event will help participants consider their personal choices for health care and end-of-life wishes and draft a document to effectively communicate those wishes. To register for this free workshop, please email ww4allages@gmail.com or call (201) 834-4192.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. Siegel is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , ,

  • Feb 05, 2020The Secure Act and Its Impact on Your Estate Plan

    As the festivities of the New Year have waned and we approach Tax Season, we bring you news of a recent legislative development that warrants your attention and may require changes to your estate plan. During the final weeks of 2019, Congress enacted federal tax legislation known as the “SECURE Act.”

    The SECURE Act

    The law makes important changes to the federal tax code that will impact distributions from retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(bs)s, IRAs, and tax-qualified annuities (referred to in this legal advisory collectively as “Retirement Accounts”). Those changes may affect you during your lifetime and may also affect the way Retirement Accounts are distributed to your beneficiaries after your death. Consequently, the law may also limit your ability to protect retirement accounts from your beneficiaries’ creditors in a tax-efficient manner.

    This legal advisory summarizes the key aspects of the SECURE Act, which is effective as of January 1, 2020, that may affect your estate plan. We hope you find it helpful in understanding certain major changes enacted by this legislation and how they might affect you. However, bear in mind that the law will affect everyone differently. Therefore, we strongly urge you to contact our office to arrange a time for us to discuss this new law in detail, so that we may act to make any necessary revisions to your estate plan as soon as possible.

    Changes Affecting You

    One component of the SECURE Act that will affect many people during their lives is a change in the age at which a person must begin taking distributions from a Retirement Account. Prior to the SECURE Act, most people (except those who were not yet retired) were required to begin taking distributions from Retirement Accounts by April 1st of the year following the year in which they reached age 70 ½. Under the SECURE Act, the age is increased to 72 for those who were not yet required to take distributions under the old law.

    Also, the SECURE Act removes the age cap for funding traditional (non-Roth) IRAs, meaning that qualifying individuals over age 70½ are now eligible to make deductible and nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA (and may, in some instances, present additional opportunities for funding a Roth IRA).

    These changes involve additional detail and nuance beyond the summary provided in this Alert and may present an opportunity for some to take further advantage of the tax-deferred savings offered by Retirement Accounts. Feel free to reach out to any member of the Norris McLaughlin Trust, Estate, and Individual Tax Law Practice Group to discuss those opportunities in coordination with your accountant or financial advisor.

    Changes Affecting Your Beneficiaries

    Perhaps the most significant changes concerning estate planning brought about by the SECURE Act regard how Retirement Accounts are distributed after the account holder’s death to avoid penalties while continuing to defer taxes. Under prior law, it was possible to “stretch” the distribution of inherited Retirement Accounts over the life expectancy of a beneficiary. Beneficiaries were required to take a required minimum distribution each year based on their life expectancy and the undistributed balance of the Retirement Account could continue to grow income tax-free. Better yet, leaving the balance of a Retirement Account to a trust, properly drafted to meet IRS requirement, for the benefit of a beneficiary, could protect retirement benefits from the beneficiary’s creditors and ensure that those benefits remain in the family upon the beneficiary’s death, while still benefiting from income tax-free growth for the undistributed portion of the Retirement Account.

    The SECURE Act has changed those rules so that most beneficiaries will be required to receive the full amount of an inherited Retirement Account within 10 years of the death of the person who funded the Retirement Account. Certain beneficiaries, including your spouse; your minor children (but not grandchildren); and beneficiaries who are disabled, chronically ill, or no more than 10 years younger than you, are exempt from the 10-year rule and are still permitted to take distributions over their expected lifetimes (although, children who are minors at the time of inheritance must now take the full distribution within 10 years of reaching the age of majority). However, Retirement Accounts left to those beneficiaries in trust might not qualify for the life expectancy payout, depending on the terms of the trust. Even special needs trusts might require review, as they must be structured narrowly to ensure that the stretch is preserved. Provisions that allow the trust to benefit another individual might be problematic.

    The good news is that the SECURE Act does not change the method of designating your beneficiaries to receive Retirement Accounts. If you have existing beneficiary designations in place, those designations are still valid. However, the SECURE Act does introduce a host of new considerations that must be taken into account when structuring your estate plan to maximize the benefit of Retirement Accounts and best protect your beneficiaries.

    Unfortunately, Congress gave us little warning that these changes were imminent. Accordingly, estate plans that previously offered a sound approach to planning for Retirement Accounts may no longer provide a good solution.  For example, some of you may have plans in place that leave Retirement Accounts to a trust known as a “Conduit Trust.” All distributions from Retirement Accounts paid to a Conduit Trust must be distributed directly from the Trust to the beneficiary. That might have been a good approach under the old law since distributions could be stretched over the expected lifetime of the trust beneficiary. However, under the SECURE Act, that same Conduit Trust might now require distribution of the entire Retirement Account to the beneficiary within 10 years of the death of the account owner or upon a minor child reaching the age of majority. Depending on the circumstances, under the SECURE Act, other planning techniques might better serve the goals those plans are meant to achieve.

    Take Action

    With the implementation of the SECURE Act effective January 1st of this year, we recommend that we review your estate plan as soon as possible to ensure that it disposes of your Retirement Accounts in keeping with your objectives.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss these changes with you, answer any questions you may have, and make recommendations specifically for you. Please contact our office to arrange a meeting or phone conference at your earliest convenience so that we can help you find the best planning solutions to meet your needs and those of your family.

    Note:  The contents of this letter are for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship. For information and advice particular to your situation, please contact one of the following attorneys in our Trust, Estate & Individual Tax Practice Group:  A. Nichole Cipriani, James J. Costello, Jr., Shauna M. Deans, Nicholas J. Dimakos, Robert E. Donatelli, Victor S. Elgort, Michelle M. Forsell, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Christopher R. Gray, Judith A. Harris, Abbey M. Horwitz, Dolores A. Laputka, Jill Lebowitz, Kenneth D. Meskin, Michael T. Reilly, Shana Siegel, Milan D. Slak, Burt Allen Solomon.

    Posted in: A. Nichole Cipriani, Abbey M. Horwitz, Burt Allen Solomon, Christopher R. Gray, Dolores A. Laputka, Estate Planning & Administration, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), James J. Costello, Jill Lebowitz, Judith A. Harris, Kenneth D. Meskin, Michael T. Reilly, Michelle M. Forsell, Milan D. Slak, Nicholas J. Dimakos, Robert E. Donatelli, Shana Siegel, Shauna M. Deans, Taxation, Victor S. Elgort |

  • Dec 27, 2019Shana Siegel to Speak on Making an Action Plan for Aging

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, will present “Planning for Aging” on Tuesday, January 14, 6:00 p.m., at the Belleville Public Library & Information Center.

    “As the population ages, the incidence of elder financial exploitation continues to rise. It is important to take proactive measures to avoid the potentially devastating costs associated with aging,” said Siegel, who will discuss getting one’s legal affairs in order and paying for long-term care.

    For more information and to register, please visit www.bellepl.org.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. Siegel is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: ,

  • Dec 11, 2019Shana Siegel Named in Best of Essex County for Elder Law

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, has been recognized by Suburban Essex Magazine in their “Best of Essex” contest.

    About the Award

    The “Best of Essex” contest has been an annual tradition for local, independently-owned businesses since 2008. The website allows consumers to find the best local shops, services, and dining options year-round. This year’s contest supported CASA of Essex in their mission to “Help Foster Children in Essex County Find Safe Homes.” Every vote cast benefited the cause.

    “With my involvement in Montclair over the past thirteen years, I am so honored and truly appreciate Suburban Essex Magazine, its readers, and the Essex County community,” said Siegel, who won the bronze award in the category of “Elder Law/Individual.”

    For more information, please visit www.bestofessex.com.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. A past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Siegel regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: ,

  • Nov 14, 2019Shana Siegel to Present on End-of-Life Care Planning in Woodbridge, New Jersey

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care and Special Needs Law Practice Group, will present “Just Do It: Planning for a Good Life and Death” at the New Jersey “Conversation of Your Life” (COYL) program. Hosted by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the free event will take place Friday, November 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Berkeley College Atrium in Woodbridge.

    About the Presentation

    “Planning for end-of-life is difficult for many to think about and discuss, but it’s extremely important to plan in advance for end-of-life care,” said Siegel.

    The presentation will cover the importance of advance care planning. Siegel will discuss planning for your health care needs, including medical power of attorney, health care proxy, and important documents; and planning for your financial needs. For more information, visit the COYL website.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. A past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Siegel regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , ,

  • Nov 08, 2019Shana Siegel to Speak on Advanced Care Planning in Somerset, New Jersey

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care and Special Needs Law Practice Group, will present “Advanced Care Planning” at the New Jersey “Conversation of Your Life” (COYL) program. Hosted by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the free event will take place on Tuesday, November 12, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., at the Franklin Township Public Library in Somerset.

    About the Presentation

    “One of the hardest things for people to talk about is planning for end-of-life care. Our programs cover topics beyond the ones people are even thinking about, and the COYL programs are the perfect outlet for us to be able to do so,” said Siegel.

    The presentation will cover the importance of advanced care planning. Siegel will discuss planning for your health care needs, including medical power of attorney, health care proxy, important documents, and planning for your financial needs. For more information, visit the COYL website.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. Siegel is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , ,

  • Oct 29, 2019Shana Siegel and Lori Kayne to Speak at West Orange Conversation of Your Life Event

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, and Lori Kayne, the firm’s Geriatric Social Worker, will present “Advanced Care Planning” at the West Orange Conversation of Your Life (COYL) Series. The free event will take place on Wednesday, October 30, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., at the West Orange Library.

    About the Presentation

    “Long-term care planning addresses much more than health care needs, family dynamics, personal values, and resources available. Our goal when discussing the planning process is to offer continued guidance, advocacy, and support as changes in health, finances, and lifestyle occur,” said Siegel

    Kayne added, “Throughout the planning process, we create relationships and assist families in preparing for challenges that may arise from aging, illness, and disability that they may or may not be aware of.”

    The presentation will conclude the West Orange COYL two-week series and will cover the importance of advanced care planning. Siegel and Kayne will discuss planning for your health care needs, including medical power of attorney, health care proxy, and essential documents. For more information and to register, please click here.

    About the Presenters

    Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. Siegel is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    Lori Kayne

    Kayne has been working in the health care field for over 20 years. In collaboration with clients’ attorneys, she conducts Geriatric Assessments and develops detailed Life Care Plans to address any care, legal, or financial issues the client may have.

    Prior to joining the firm, Kayne was an Elder Care Coordinator at WanderPolo & Siegel. Kayne earned her M.S.S. from Bryn Mawr College in 1983, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Bucknell University. She holds a Certificate in Elder Care from Stockton University and a Certificate of Gerontology from Rutgers University.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , , ,

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