Steven W. Tarta, Esq.

Steven W. Tarta, Attorney at Law. 45 N. Broad Street Ridgewood, NJ 07450 PHONE 201-444-8448 E-MAIL: [email protected] FAX: 201-612-0827 Please be sure to check out for estate planning learning center information.

Author Archives: Steven W. Tarta, Esq.

The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

By | December 10, 2010

When was the last time your reviewed the beneficiary designation form from your retirement plan, IRA, life insurance policies or annuities?  If your answer is typical, you don’t remember. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision should motivate some people to move this overlooked step higher on their priority list.  This particular ruling involved a 401(k) plan, but it… Read More »

The Future of the Federal Estate Tax

By | October 6, 2010

As of February of 2010, the United States enjoyed more than a month of complete repeal of the federal estate tax.  Before its repeal, the federal estate tax was almost as old as the U.S. income tax which required the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to adopt. The 2010 repeal of the federal estate tax was originally… Read More »

You Signed Your Revocable Trust, But Did You Fund It?

By | September 15, 2010

A properly funded trust will avoid probate upon your death and provide management of your assets without court involvement should you become disabled or incapacitated.  Although your Last Will and Testament may provide that all assets spill over into your trust for further disposition, that occurs only after they pass through probate. Assets under the trust umbrella need… Read More »

Roth IRA Conversion Top Considerations

By | September 15, 2010

Effective this year, converting from one’s traditional IRA (or other qualified plans such as 401k, 403b and 457) to a Roth IRA is available to everyone.  There are benefits and burdens of conversion, and the purpose of this article is to provide you with several things you should consider when converting to a Roth IRA. When you convert… Read More »

Estate Planning without proper Asset Ownership is Disastrous

By | December 9, 2009

Every taxpayer has an estate tax exemption, which allows you to “shield” assets from the federal estate taxation. This federal estate tax exemption can be used to transfer assets to your beneficiaries, whether outright or in trust. Bequests to your spouse however are generally not subject to estate tax. The federal estate tax exemption amount (before taxation commences… Read More »

Elder Law: Financial Planning Needed For Retirees

By | May 27, 2004

If you are one of the many retirees without having prepared a financial plan, it is not too late to do so. Many of our retired clients with significant retirement assets and other investments are not certain of how long they will be able to live their desired lifestyle. For some it is a matter of procrastination or… Read More »

Estate Tax Dispute Procedures

By | July 9, 2002

It is a widely held belief that one of the most unfortunate circumstances in modern society is to have a tax return selected for audit by the Internal Revenue Service (Service). Estate tax returns are subject to audit and adjustment like any other tax return. Under current law, an estate tax return must be filed by the Personal… Read More »

Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) reeserves the use of a residence

By | July 9, 2002

A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is a trust in which the person establishing the trust, call the Grantor, reserves the use of a residence (either the Grantor’s primary residence or a seasonal residence) for a specified term of years. In the trust agreement, the Grantor designates the individuals who will be entitled to the property at the… Read More »

The Most Frequent Estate Planning Mistakes

By | June 5, 2002

Underestimating Exposure to Estate Taxation Often people do not believe they are worth enough to be subject to Federal Estate Taxation. If your estate is larger than $1,000,000, the estate tax begins at 41 percent! It is common to hear a person undervalue real estate, especially in this portion of the country (Bergen and Passaic counties in New… Read More »

Choosing a Fiduciary

By | June 3, 2002

Your fiduciary is an integral part of your estate plan. Who should you appoint to coordinate your affairs upon incapacity or death? Consider these questions when making the selection: What are the responsibilities of my fiduciary? The fiduciary you select should be capable of handling the responsibilities of the appointed role. Personal Representatives and Trustees are charged with… Read More »