US Supreme Court Invalids Mandatory Arbi...

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Arbitration Attorney Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a state law which prohibits Mandatory Arbitration written specifically for the long term care industry violates the Federal Arbitration Act because it singles out Arbitration Agreements for disfavored treatment. Federal Law makes an Arbitration Agreement a valid and enforceable contract.  Under state law a Court may invalidate an Arbitration Agreement only upon generally accepted contract defenses but not because there is a...

A Parent Can Name Ex-Felon Son as Execut...

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate Planning & Elder Care Attorney My client is updating her estate planning. She’s 60 and divorced. At age 19 her son was convicted of a felony and spent a year in prison. Twenty years later he’s responsible, trustworthy, has a job and a family. She wants to name him personal representative under her will and power of attorney. However, friends tell her he can’t serve because of that conviction. He is her only beneficiary with no meaningful next of kin, so he wouldn’t be responsible for...

Power of Attorney Naming Multiple Partie...

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Power of Attorney Lawyer Clients often ask me to prepare a Power of Attorney. Often they have two or more children and ask if they should name both (or none) of them as attorney-in-fact. Most of the time the clients assume then children will jointly agree to make all decisions about everything together. But that’s when the clients thinking seems to stop. A dual agent power of attorney can and generally requires each agent to agree in order to act. The easier (and I think better) approach is to...

Who Gets to Control my Dead Body? Part 2

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate and Probate Attorney In Part 1 of this series I introduced you to a court case involving who has decision making powers over funeral arrangements and payment obligations among family members. In Part 2 I will be discussing the appeal of this case. The interment statute of New Jersey, creates a hierarchy as among survivors for purposes of determining which of them is authorized to control the disposition of a loved one’s remains. At the same time, however, the statute expresses a preference...

Who Gets to Control my Dead Body? Part 1

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate and Probate Attorney Here is another recent court case involving priority of decision making for funeral arrangements and the payment obligations for that funeral among family members and the estate executor when a conflict on reimbursement costs comes up. N.J.S.A. 45:27-22(a) provides that if a testator (creator of the will) appoints a person “to control the funeral and disposition of human remains, the funeral and disposition shall be in accordance with the instructions of the person so...

Who can Act as A Witness to a Power of A...

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Power of Attorney Lawyer To be a lawful witness of a legal document in New Jersey a person must be over the age of 18, be of sound mind meaning not having a mental disability or prior determination of incompetence, be able to understand that they are witnessing the signature of a binding, legal document and serve as a witness voluntarily, (e.g., not being unduly pressured to witness the document). In addition, the witness cannot be the signor of the document or be the person being named as the...