The blog will seek to inform Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries (Executors and Trustees) of Estates and Trusts of their rights and obligations under New Jersey and sometimes Federal law by analyzing important court decisions and relevant provisions of the law and by imparting lessons drawn from our own experience in our day-to-day practice. Entries will also include issues relating to relatives, friends or other loved ones who are alive but compromised due to advanced age or illness, and therefore susceptible to manipulation.
“The death of a relative, friend, or other loved one can be a traumatic and sometimes life-changing experience. I hope this blog can provide people with a better understanding of their rights and obligations during such a difficult time,” said Jim Costello.
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 and sale of all types of closely-held business entities.
He 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 co-habitation agreements, employing sophisticated strategies when warranted, including family limited liability companies (“LLCs”), sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts (“SLATS”), dynasty trusts and charitable trusts. His representation of fiduciaries includes 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 about a variety of estate planning and tax law topics. He is a former Trustee and current Advisory Board Council member of the Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and is a Trustee and the Secretary of the Bernardsville Library Foundation, Inc. Costello earned his J.D. from Western New England College School of Law and his M.L.T. from Georgetown University Law Center.