Gift-Giving Tips for Supporting Loved Ones with Special Needs

Although many people have heard about gift tax, the complexity of the tax code means that people who could be benefiting from this concept are avoiding it altogether! Here are some tips for getting the most support for your special needs family member through gifting from a leading estate planning attorney in New Jersey.

Firstly, it is important to note that the current limit is set at a $14,000 annually and may change from year to year, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest gifting legislation. At first, $14,000 doesn’t seem like it will go very far – however, the IRS states that:

  • Paying for medical expenses does not count towards this total
  • Paying educational or tuition expenses are excluded from this total
  • Both of these expenses are also excluded from the lifetime taxable gift allowance

What if I Have a Special Needs Trust? 

Special needs trusts are a popular option for families looking for a long-term solution to ensuring that their loved one has high quality care for their lifetime in the event that family caregivers pass away or can no longer make decisions for their loved one’s care.

In terms of gift giving, an irrevocable special needs trust requires certain language to be drafted into its documentation to ensure that these gifts qualify towards the annual exclusion amount. A revocable special needs trust where the same person is in the role of trustee and donor, however, the trust and the assets inside the trust cannot count as gifts.

Speak to estate planning attorneys in New Jersey today 

Experienceestate planning attorneyFrank R. Campisano can assist you with navigating issues around gift giving as well as creating a special needs trust or drawing up other legal documents including Power of Attorney, medical directives and a Last Will and Testament. For more compassionate legal guidance, please contact us today or visit our website at

Revocable Living Trust or Last Will and Testament?

elder law new jersey last will and testament

When most people think of developing their estate plan, their Last Will and Testament is the first document that comes to mind. However, there are some alternatives that may offer you more advantages than a will – one of these is a revocable living trust. Find out why from a leading New Jersey estate planning attorney.

  • Immediate access to assets: While a will has to go through the probate process before assets can be accessed, a revocable living trust has none of these often lengthy delays. Even a delay of a few weeks or months can cause a burden on a family when a spouse or parent passes away, as all joint bank accounts and assets are essentially frozen until probate is concluded.
  • Privacy for your assets: While the contents of a probated will are part of the public record, the contents of a revocable living trust are not. This is an advantage for people with significant assets and final wishes that they would like to keep private.
  • No interruption to your investments: In the event of your death or incapacitation, your trustee or trustees can immediately take control of the management of your assets and investments with none of the delays and requirements that are placed upon a will.

If I Have a Revocable Living Trust, Do I Need a Last Will and Testament? 

In order to fund your revocable living trust, you will need to transfer assets such as bank accounts, stocks, bond accounts and certificates into the name of the trust. In the documentation, you can specify certain actions that need to be taken in the event of your death or incapacitation to support certain family members or organizations – for example, funding your children’s college tuitions. For more sentimental assets, however, you should still have a Last Will and Testament. This can include instructions regarding your funeral and remembrance, detailing certain items and heirlooms to go to particular people and other final wishes.

If you would like further guidance on creating a revocable living trust or a Last Will and Testament, Frank R. Campisano can provide you with the necessary expert legal advice and professional insight.

In addition, he can can also assist you with all other aspects of your estate plan, from drawing up medical directives and Power of Attorney documents to Medicaid planning. For more information on setting up or changing an estate plan, please contact him at the law firm of Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC in New Jersey or visit our website at

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