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Norris McLaughlin, P.A. Welcomes New Trusts & Estates Member

Posted on May 1st, 2014

Bridgewater, NJ (March 18, 2014) – The Bridgewater-based law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., welcomes new Member James J. Costello, Jr., to its Estate Planning and Administration Group. He joins the firm after almost 15 years with his successful trusts and estates and tax boutique Vizzoni & Costello, L.L.C.

“We are very excited to have Jim join the firm. After 25 years of representing trusts and estates clients, and many of those years right down the road from our New Jersey office in Bridgewater, it is a natural fit for Jim to come aboard and join our existing estate planning and administration group,” said Alison L. Galer, Managing Partner.

“It is essential for lawyers to adapt to ensure they meet changing client needs and expectations. Norris McLaughlin, P.A.really understands this and has the depth and breadth of services to address virtually any need of my expanding client base,” Costello said.

Costello, a resident of Bernardsville, 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, and prenuptial and co-habitation agreements. When warranted, he employs sophisticated strategies, including family limited liability companies, sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts, dynasty trusts and charitable trusts.

Costello’s 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. He also handles federal and state tax disputes, including collection matters, appeals and representation in U.S. and New Jersey Tax Courts.

Small business owners look to Costello for assistance with the formation, dissolution, purchase and sale of closely held businesses. He also represents individuals and entities in residential and commercial real estate transactions. Elderly and incapacitated individuals, and their families, engage him for counsel regarding guardianships; asset protection planning, including irrevocable grantor trusts and Medicaid spend-downs; as well as preparing and filing Medicaid applications.

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 began his career as a Senior Tax Consultant in the Personal Financial Planning Group of Ernst & Young’s Washington, D.C., office, where he was a contributing author to the Ernst & Young Personal Financial Planning Reporter. He was an associate at the law firm of Deener, Feingold & Stern, P.C., in Hackensack, New Jersey. Before founding his boutique firm, he was the Partner in charge of Tax and Trust & Estate Law at the law firm of Peterpaul, Clark, Corcoran & Costello, P.C., in Springfield, New Jersey, where he continues to serve as Of Counsel.

A 1988 graduate of the Western New England College School of Law, where he was the recipient of American Jurisprudence Awards in Estate Planning and Business Organizations, Costello earned an advanced degree in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center (M.L.T, 1991). He is admitted to practice in New Jersey, Connecticut and the District of Columbia, as well as before the U.S. Tax Court.