Monday, July 28, 2014

Estate Administration Part 1: How to Apply for Letters of Administration

Ordinarily, a person specifies in his or her Will who they would like to deal with the matters of their Estate when they pass away. This is often a spouse, relative, or close friend—someone who the person trusts to act in the best interests of their Estate and their family. The person named in a Will to be responsible for the decedent’s Estate is called the “Executor.”

Sometimes, however, a person will pass away without first creating a Will, or their Will may not appoint an Executor. When this happens, somebody must request that they become “Administrator” of the Estate. Generally, this is a relative of the decedent. The Administrator handles the Estate in almost precisely the same way an Executor would, and regardless of title, the responsibility to act in the best interest of the Estate and its heirs is the same.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Minimum Wage—Increase as of January 1, 2014

New Jersey increased its minimum wage as of January 1, 2014, which is more than the federal minimum wage. Don’t make the mistake of paying below the minimum.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Did You Know? The Need for Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Although all employers are required by law to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance (aka “Workers’ Comp”) policies, it is frequently overlooked, and employers are often under-insured.

Workers’ Comp is rated based on the classification of the type of business and the payroll. Premiums change according to the business’ payroll, not the number of workers employed.

You do not have to notify your insurance company as you hire new workers, or if your payroll increases. The insurance company performs audits independently to find out the number of employees a business has, as well as its payroll.

A standard Homeowners’ policy has minimal coverage for “transient workers,” limited to the maximum amount of coverage on the home. This covers two domestic servants or household employees working part-time (less than 40 hours per week).

If you have more than two workers, or if you have any full-time employees, such as a live-in nanny or full-time housekeeper, you will have to contact your insurance company to obtain additional coverage. Even if you have an umbrella policy, it will not cover this additional employee exposure (i.e., having a full-time employee and/or more than two employees in your home).

A failure to provide workers’ comp can result in penalties of up to $5,000 for the first ten days and $5,000 for each ten-day period thereafter.

Do not wait to find out that you are underinsured—call your insurance agency and make certain that you have adequate coverage.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Q and A: “My mother passed away and the bank won't let me use her POA. What happened?”

Unfortunately, a Power of Attorney is no longer valid if the Principal dies. The purpose of your POA was to allow you to act on your Mother’s behalf during her lifetime. At her death, the POA automatically terminates. Now you must qualify as her Executor (if she has a Will) or Administrator (if she does not) to deal with her assets.

 Learn more about Power of Attorney by following this link to our other articles about POAs, or speak with your lawyer for consultation on your specific situation.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Power of Attorney Part 6: Does the POA expire?

Unless specified otherwise, a POA will not expire.