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The headlines this last week of 2016 are full of unexpected deaths, most notably Carrie Fisher and George Michael. Both were taken far too young and our deepest condolences go out to their family, friends and fans.

Unfortunately, as tragic as these deaths are, unexpected death is not uncommon. Compounding the tragedy is that often people who die young or unexpectedly do not have an Estate Plan; or even a Last Will and Testament.  This leaves the survivors struggling not only with the grief of losing a loved one, but the very real problems that death brings.  Sometimes people believe they do not need a Will because they do not own anything of value.  This is not the case.  Even the most humble of estates have difficult questions that need to be answered.  It might be as straightforward as: Where does your loved one want to be buried?  Or as complicated as:  Who is going to finish raising their child?  No one wants to think about dying, but planning for the unexpected by having a Last Will and Testament can be one of the best gifts you can give to your friends and family.

If you want more information about estate planning contact one of our attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499 and we will help you come up with a plan that works for your family.

For many of us midnight on December 31st rings in new resolutions and a sense of excitement for the upcoming year.  In New Jersey this year the New Year will ring in new rights for adults that were adopted as children prior to August 1, 2015.  Significant changes in New Jersey’s adoption laws will now let adult adoptees request information from the State of New Jersey about their birth parents, including their original birth certificate. This information was not previously available to them if they were adopted in a closed adoption.  While this change in the law is wonderful news for those who are searching for answers about their birth and where they come from, it can be frightening for birth parents who believed their identity would never be revealed.  As with most family law issues there is fine balance to be reached in assuring that everyone is treated fairly.  For birth parents who do not wish for their identity to be revealed they have until December 31, 2016 to file forms with the State of New Jersey requesting no contact from the adopted child and redacting the child’s birth certificate to remove any information that identifies them as the birth parent.  If you or anyone in your family has questions about the upcoming changes in the adoption privacy rules and the record system for birth parents contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.