Kenneth Vercammen, Esq is Chair of the ABA Elder Law Committee and presents seminars to attorneys and the public on Wills, Probate and other legal topics related to Estate Planning and Elder law. Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year and is a lecturer for American Bar Association on Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples. He was a speaker at the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting attended by 10,000 attorneys and professionals.
To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at VercammenAppointments@NJlaws.com, call or

visit Website www.njlaws.com

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.

2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

(732) 572-0500

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Professionals, Attorneys, Business owners invited to Happy Hour & Networking Social

Professionals, Attorneys, Business owners invited to Happy Hour & Networking Social
Friday, July 18, 2014
 5:00PM - 7:00PM
   at Bar Anticipation
703 16th Avenue
Lake Como/ Belmar, NJ 07719
      
    Free !
5-7PM Hot & Cold Buffet
The reduced price Happy Hour is 6-7PM with $1 House Drink, Bud/BudLt draft & House Wine Special
   Please bring a canned food donation for the St. James Food Bank Hands of Hope, continuing providing food and help to individuals in need.
      Email Ken Vercammen's Law Office so we can put your name on the VIP list for wristbands.     VercammenLaw@Njlaws.com
 www.njlaws.com/happy-hour.html

Co-sponsored by NJ State Bar Association, Middlesex County Estate Planning Council and several other business organizations

Friday, June 13, 2014

Gay and Lesbian Partners- Problems if No Estate Planning


In the absence of a marriage, Will or other legal arrangement to distribute property at death, your partner does not receive your assets and cannot administer your estate. The result can be lengthy delays and other problems. Individuals in gay or lesbian relationships need properly drafted Wills and estate planning documents more than opposite sex couples. The probate laws generally provide if a person dies without a Will, their property goes to family, rather than a partner they had a relationship with even for years or decades.

IF YOU HAVE NO WILL:
          
If you leave no Will or your Will is declared invalid because it was improperly prepared or is not admissible to probate:
* State law determines who gets assets, not you
* Additional expenses will be incurred and extra work will be required to qualify an administrator
* Possible additional State inheritance taxes and Federal estate taxes
*  If you have no marriage,  Civil Union , spouse, or close relatives the State may take your property
* The procedure to distribute assets becomes more complicated-and   the law makes no exceptions for persons in unusual need or for your own wishes.
*  It may also cause fights and lawsuits between your partner and your family

Have a Power of Attorney prepared. In the absence of a Power of Attorney or other legal arrangement to distribute property if you become disabled, your partner cannot pay your bills or access your assets. 

Have a Living Will prepared. In the absence of a Living Will, marriage or other legal arrangement if you become disabled, your partner generally has no say regarding medical care or life support. Your partner cannot  access your assets. Your partner cannot receive information on your medical status or medical care. Advance directives are very personal documents and you should feel free to develop one, which best suits your own needs.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration Seminar

Nuts &  Bolts of Elder Law & Estate Administration Seminar  
        Wed, May 7  5:00 PM - 9:00 PM New Jersey Law Center One Constitution Square New Brunswick, NJ 08901  08901  Includes a 260-page book, plus CD with 500 pages of sample forms, documents & checklists! and dinner                                            
           Elder law continues to offer the legal profession a booming opportunity for growth. As your current clients continue to grow older, you need to position yourself to be able to offer them and their families the legal services required by the elderly in today’s society. Or, you may be looking for lucrative areas in which to expand your current practice, including administering their estates.
This practical program is designed to provide the nuts and bolts of elder law practice & estate administration practice to general practitioners and young lawyers, as well as to more experienced lawyers seeking to expand into this field. A highly authoritative and experienced panel of elder law attorneys & estate planners will share proven techniques and experience it would take you years to gather on your own. You’ll also gain insight on how Federal Medicaid Reform will impact your practice.
Everything you need to know about elder law & estate administration including:

• Why Have a Will? - Gathering information; standard provisions; designation of fiduciaries; protective clauses; sample forms; Ethics - who is the client?

• Powers of Attorney - Types of POAs; what should be included; why clients need them; POAs and Living Wills; sample forms

• Living Trusts (Revocable/Irrevocable) as an Estate Planning Tool - Why it should be used; Ethics - who is the client?; disadvantages; revocable vs. irrevocable; Insurance Trusts; sample forms

• Basic Tax Considerations - Jointly-held property; “I love you” Will; no Will at all; insurance owned by client; unlimited marital deduction; estate planning in the testamentary document; sample forms/letters

• Estate Administration - New Probate Law in New Jersey - Probate process; duties of executor/fiduciary; gathering of assets; tax returns; tax waivers; access to property; sample forms/checklists

• Medicaid Planning in Light of Federal Medicaid Reform - Countable assets of Medicaid applicant; income cap/Medical needy standard; look-back period; transfers of property; personal residence; Medicaid estate recovery rules; probate; undue influence; competency
…and more
         Speakers:
-KENNETH A. VERCAMMEN, ESQ. Chair, ABA Elder Law Committee Past GP Solo Section Attorney of the Year Past NJSBA Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year  Edison, NJ
-WILLIAM P. ISELE, ESQ. Past NJ Ombudsman for the Elderly
-MARTIN A. SPIGNER, ESQ. Law Office of Martin A. Spigner, Cranbury
-ADAM DUBECK, Esq.
$160.00 General   Tuition, reduced fee for NJSBA Elder & Disability Law Section and NJSBA Young Lawyers Division
[Free for Superior Court Judges] Seminar #S57800S4
NJSBA Member Price is reduced – To qualify for this reduced price, you must provide your NJSBA Member# at the time you place your order. If you place your order without providing your NJSBA Member#, you will be charged the regular price.
          More details contact New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education 
The non-profit continuing education service of 
The New Jersey State Bar Association  Constitution Square, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1520 
Phone: (732) 214-8500 • Fax: (732)249-0383 • CustomerService@njicle.com
         NJ CLE INFORMATION: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 4.6 hours of total CLE credit. Of these, 1.2 qualify as hours of credit for ethics/professionalism.


         Presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Elder & Disability Law Section and NJSBA Young Lawyers Division

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New law Protects minors by prohibiting counseling attempts to change sexual orientation.

New law  Protects minors by prohibiting counseling attempts to change sexual orientation.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
     As reported by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on March 18, 2013, with amendments.
  

AN ACT concerning the protection of minors from counseling attempts to change sexual orientation and supplementing Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

     BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

     11.   The Legislature finds and declares that:
     a.    Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.  The major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years;
     b.    The American Psychological Association convened a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.  The task force conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts, and issued a report in 2009.  The task force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources;
     c.    The American Psychological Association issued a resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts in 2009, which states: “[T]he [American Psychological Association] advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support, and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth”;
     d.    (1) The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement in March of 2000 in which it stated:  “Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or ‘repair’ homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable.  Furthermore, anecdotal reports of ‘cures’ are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm.  In the last four decades, ‘reparative’ therapists have not produced any 
rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure.  Until there is such research available, [the American Psychiatric Association] recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do no harm;
     (2)   The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.  Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction.  The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed; and
     (3)   Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his or her sexual homosexual orientation”;
     e.    The American School Counselor Association’s position statement on professional school counselors and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth states:  “It is not the role of the professional school counselor to attempt to change a student’s sexual orientation/gender identity but instead to provide support to LGBTQ students to promote student achievement and personal well-being.  Recognizing that sexual orientation is not an illness and does not require treatment, professional school counselors may provide individual student planning or responsive services to LGBTQ students to promote self-acceptance, deal with social acceptance, understand issues related to coming out, including issues that families may face when a student goes through this process and identify appropriate community resources”;
     f.     The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1993 published an article in its journal, Pediatrics, stating: “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation”;
     g.    The American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs prepared a report in 1994 in which it stated: “Aversion therapy (a behavioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior, in this case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive consequences) is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians.  Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it”;
     h.    The National Association of Social Workers prepared a 1997 policy statement in which it stated: “Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes.  Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen.  No data demonstrates that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and, in fact, they may be harmful”;
     i.     The American Counseling Association Governing Council issued a position statement in April of 1999, and in it the council states: “We oppose ‘the promotion of “reparative therapy” as a “cure” for individuals who are homosexual’”;
     j.     (1) The American Psychoanalytic Association issued a position statement in June 2012 on attempts to change sexual orientation, gender, identity, or gender expression, and in it the association states: “As with any societal prejudice, bias against individuals based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression negatively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stigma and pervasive self-criticism through the internalization of such prejudice; and
     (2)   Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to ‘convert,’ ‘repair,’ change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.  Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes”;
     k.    The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012 published an article in its journal, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, stating: “Clinicians should be aware that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered through therapy, and that attempts to do so may be harmful.  There is no empirical evidence adult homosexuality can be prevented if gender nonconforming children are influenced to be more gender conforming.  Indeed, there is no medically valid basis for attempting to prevent homosexuality, which is not an illness.  On the contrary, such efforts may encourage family rejection and undermine self-esteem, connectedness and caring, important protective factors against suicidal ideation and attempts.  Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation are effective, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicated”;
     l.     The Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization, issued a statement in May of 2012 and in it the organization states: “These supposed conversion therapies constitute a violation of the ethical principles of health care and violate human rights that are protected by international and regional agreements.”  The organization also noted that reparative therapies “lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people”;
     m.   Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation face especially serious health risks.  In one study, lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.  This is documented by Caitlin Ryan et al. in their article entitled Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults (2009) 123 Pediatrics 346; and
     n.    New Jersey has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.1

     1[1.] 2.1     a.  A person who is licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training for any of these professions, shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.
     b.    As used in this section, “sexual orientation change efforts” means the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual 1[persuasion]orientation1, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors 1, gender identity,1 or gender expressions, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender; except that sexual orientation change efforts shall not include1counseling for a person seeking to transition from one gender to another, or1 counseling that:
     (1) provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual 1[persuasion-neutral] orientation-neutral1 interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and
     (2) does not seek to change sexual 1[persuasion] orientation1.

     1[2.] 3.1     This act shall take effect immediately.