News & Events
07/14/21 – Hot Summer/Hot Real Estate Market
The real estate market remains “hot” in these warm summer months. If you are buying or selling a home (or both) please do not hesitate to contact us about representation throughout the transaction from contract signing to closing.
04/03/20 – Financial Issues During COVID-19
If you are experiencing financial issues due to COVID 19 please do not hesitate to contact us about your legal options.
03/16/20 – Here To Help During Tough Times
The COVID-19 virus has caused disruption to daily life as everyone does their best to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus. We remain available to assist clients and potential clients during this time. Please do not hesitate to contact Mark directly via e-mail at [email protected]
04/08/19 – Estate Disputes
Unfortunately, the passing of a loved one can be even more stressful when disputes arise about the handling of their estate. Mark will be speaking on these topics in Cherry Hill on July 12, 2019, in conjunction with the National Business Institute. If you have questions about issues of estate disbursement, feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation to understand your rights.
06/22/18 – Summer Real Estate Market Is Heating Up
Summer is always popular for people to sell and buy new houses. This summer’s real estate market seems extra active with plenty of buyers and sellers in the market. We represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the process. Especially for first-time buyers, it can be a daunting process since a house is the most expensive purchase most of us will make. We work with new buyers and real estate veterans alike to keep the transaction as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
11/03/17 – LLCs “Beyond The Basics”
On Monday, November 6, 2017, Mark will be a speaker at the National Business Institute’s seminar on issues with LLC formation and operating agreements. If you’re thinking of forming an LLC or if you have an existing LLC which needs an updated operating agreement, has contracts that need drafting/review, or have litigation or collections issues contact our office to schedule a consultation.
05/15/17 – Mark Speaking On Small-Business Issues
Mark will be on a panel and speaking about transactional issues which affect small and medium-sized businesses. Information on the seminar can be found at the following link NBI Seminars
03/06/17 – Be Wary Of Reverse Mortgages
Reverse mortgages can seem to be an easy way for aging homeowners to access funds, but when taxes and insurance come due after the equity has been used up, things can take a turn for the worse. Mark recently worked with one such borrower and her story, and the result of her case, shows why anyone considering a reverse mortgage should seek legal counsel before entering into the transaction. Reverse Mortgage
12/19/16 – Speaking On Small-Business Issues
Mark was a featured speaker at an NBI seminar on LLC Operating Agreements. He discussed issues with LLC formation, operating agreements, items that should be considered when forming an LLC, and entering into an operating agreement.
10/31/16 – Bye Bye Estate Tax In New Jersey?
Recent legislation (which also raised the gas tax) includes a phasing out of the New Jersey Estate Tax. The estate tax used to apply to estates with potentially as low as $675,000 in assets. However, New Jersey also has an inheritance tax, which does not appear to be impacted at all by the recent law change. Contact us if you have any questions about New Jersey estate taxes or inheritance taxes.
07/20/16 – New Admission
Mark is happy to announce that he is now admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.
04/26/16 – Don’t Be Unprepared
After the news that singer Price died without a Will, further research revealed that 64% of Americans don’t have a Will. Simple estate planning documents don’t have to be expensive and can save loved ones a lot of time and money down the road. Plan Ahead
01/11/16 – New Year/Old Estate Documents?
The new year is a good time to review your will, power of attorney, health care directive and beneficiary designations on insurance and retirement accounts. If you find outdated information, it may be time to schedule a consultation to discuss your estate plan.
10/16/15 – Be Alert For Real Estate Scams
Per the below article, purchasers in real estate transactions need to be alert for fraudulent requests for funds. Always verify with your attorney, lender and/or title company that a request for funds is legitimate before providing funds when buying property. Real Estate Scam
06/10/15 – Where The Heart Is
I’ll be speaking at a seminar for first-time home buyers on Saturday 6/13/15 at the following location:
Lawrence Neighborhood Center
295 Eggerts Crossing Rd
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
It’s presented by SBR Realty. Feel free to contact me for more information.
05/07/15 – Tuition Payments And Bankruptcy Trustees
Most conversations surrounding bankruptcy and college involve the near impossibility of having student loans discharged as part of bankruptcy proceedings. This interesting article highlights bankruptcy trustees trying to “claw back” tuition payments made to colleges by parents shortly before filing for bankruptcy. Trustees, as part of their duties, scrutinize payments made by debtors leading up to bankruptcy so whether this becomes a commonplace concern will be something to watch.
03/13/15 – Keeping It Local
I serve as local counsel for attorneys and law firms located throughout the United States when their clients need to appear in New Jersey Federal and State Courts. In the last couple of years, I have worked with attorneys in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Maine, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and California when their clients had pending cases or needed to file litigation in New Jersey.
01/02/15 – Happy New Year!
Just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2015! If your New Year’s Resolution was to have a Will drafted or update an outdated Will, we’d be happy to help you accomplish that goal and look forward to helping you with any other legal needs throughout the year.
12/05/14 – Review Those Documents!
It’s important that you periodically review your will and health care directive to be sure they reflect your current wishes for your estate and end-of-life health care decisions. You should be looking to see if your designations of beneficiaries, executor and your wishes as expressed in your healthcare directive reflect your current views on those items. If (as I always recommend) you have provided your executor or other trusted family member or friend with a list of bank accounts, retirement accounts, online accounts and other necessary information regarding your affairs you should also update that list as well since current and accurate information can greatly ease the burden on your loved ones when needed.
09/10/14 – New Jersey Inheritance Tax Can Be Tricky
As noted in the linked article, New Jersey can be an expensive (and confusing) state when it comes to inheritance and estate taxes, so consulting with legal and accounting professionals when serving as the Executor or Administrator of an estate is usually recommended. Estate/Inheritance Tax Landscape
06/18/14 – Court Ruling Regarding Inherited IRAs
A recent Supreme Court ruling allows creditors potential access to IRA accounts that are inherited by non-spouses. This impacts both estate planning and bankruptcy filings. “Inherited IRAs “In Play”
04/22/14 – Don’t Leave Home Without Them
Always have your driver’s license, registration and insurance card (current and valid of course) with you when driving. Clients are often surprised to find out that although presenting valid documents to the Court that were not provided at the time of an accident or traffic stop can result in charges for failure to have/provide these items being dismissed, the Municipal Court Judge will usually assess court costs despite any dismissal.
02/18/14 – Insurance Key For Businesses Of All Sizes
Obtaining necessary insurance in appropriate amounts of coverage is important for businesses of all sizes. New Jersey also has laws regarding mandatory workers’ compensation insurance that employers must provide. This link is to a guide the State publishes regarding that mandatory coverage. New Jersey Workers Compensation
11/27/13 – Keeping An Eye On Nursing Home Funds
It’s important to remember, as the linked article describes, that in addition to making sure a loved one’s health needs are being met when they are in a nursing home or rehabilitation center, their finances are also kept safe. It is important to review financial items to detect any suspicious activities. Elderly at Risk for Nursing Home Theft
9/17/13 – Beneficiary Designation Extremely Important For Insurance And Retirement Accounts Market
Certain assets like life insurance benefits, IRAs and 401(k) accounts do not pass pursuant to your will, but instead to the designated beneficiary/beneficiaries on file for those specific accounts. This article explains the perils of not periodically reviewing and updating those beneficiary designations as events in your life change. Discussion of nonprobate assets is an important part of an estate planning consultation. Key Beneficiary Designations
8/15/13 – Issues Remain In Real Estate Market
This interesting article points out that the number of foreclosure filings is actually rising in New Jersey even though reports of housing prices stabilizing or rising continue to be released. As the article notes, New Jersey requires a Judge to approve and issue an Order for any foreclosure to occur which can create a longer process. New Jersey On Foreclosure Backlog List
7/30/13 – Facing Reality
These are only accusations at this time, but a couple of New Jersey reality television personalities are finding out the government takes allegations of false statements in the bankruptcy, tax and mortgage loan processes very seriously. Seeking legal counsel for bankruptcy, real estate and tax matters is often a wise choice, especially when you are uncertain as to what your obligations are in a particular transaction or situation.
6/25/13 – Something To “Like”
The Law Office of Mark A. Kriegel now has a Facebook page so feel free to visit. Law Office of Mark A. Kriegel, LLC, on Facebook
6/17/13 – Good Will Hunting is OK As A Movie Not As An Estate Plan
Often the most important advice you get from the attorney who prepares your Wills and other estate documents is the following: “Make sure all of your heirs and loved ones know where these documents are”. Whether you keep the originals or have your estate attorney store them, your executor and other family members will have to know where the original copies are when they are needed. The Surrogates Offices will only accept a will as self-proving if it is an original copy. Probating a nonoriginal copy of a will requires additional steps which require additional time and money to be spent. Living wills/health care directives are increasingly popular, but these documents, too, have to be readily accessible if needed. The stress of a serious health issue for a loved one can be compounded when their health care directives cannot be located. Be sure your important documents are kept where your loved ones can access them in an emergency.
5/17/13 – Sometimes You Need More Than A Will To Find A Way
It’s important when considering your estate plan to remember that there are accounts and assets which pass outside of the will/probate process. Often life insurance and IRA/401(k)/Pension accounts are some of your most valuable assets, and they will be inherited not necessarily by the heirs you name in your will but by the beneficiary or beneficiaries on record with the life insurance company or the administrator of the retirement or pension account. People usually remember to update their wills after events like divorce or remarriage, but many forget to be sure that the named beneficiary on their insurance and retirement accounts reflects their current wishes. If you’re not careful about updating these designations an ex-spouse or niece or nephew you haven’t seen for 20 years could inherit a significant portion of your assets. If you need to update your estate plan or have questions about the probate process, Mark is happy to meet with you for a free consultation to determine your needs.
4/4/13 – Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Raised
The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions were scheduled to be adjusted for inflation on April 1, 2013, and the new exemptions were set. Since almost all NJ Bankruptcy filers will use the federal exemptions these adjustments will allow debtors to exempt slightly more of their property in a filing. Revised Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions
3/7/13 – Two Certainties In Life Collide
When the federal estate tax exemption was recently set at $5,000,000.00 with annual increases indexed to inflation many people thought they were free from estate taxes since their estate was not worth anywhere near that amount. However, New Jersey still maintains an estate tax and has the lowest in the nation exemption of $675,000.00 which includes not only liquid assets but homes and other property. New Jersey also imposes an inheritance tax which can be triggered when leaving assets to siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and nonfamily members. That is why it’s important to review your estate plan and documents any time there is a change in circumstances so you can maintain an estate plan that’s as efficient as possible given the current laws.
1/31/13 – Is Cash “King” Again?
Be sure you know if the merchants you’re using your credit card with are charging a “swipe fee”. (Mark does not when he accepts a credit card payment for representation) Credit Card Checkout Fees
1/1/13 – Happy New Year!
Mark wishes all of his clients and colleagues a Happy New Year and hopes everyone has a prosperous 2013!
12/4/12 – Former Baseball Star Strikes Out In Bankruptcy Court
This story demonstrates the importance of the disclosure of your assets and debts as part of filing a bankruptcy petition. Lenny Dykstra Sentenced
9/25/12 – Be Careful When Renting A Car
Car rental companies are on the prowl for any damage to their vehicles. After reading the linked article you will understand why it’s so important to document the condition of your rental vehicle when you receive it and when you drop it off. Rental Car Damage Claims
7/3/12 – UPDATE – Congress Extends Student Loan Rates For 1 Year
Updating a link posted a couple of weeks ago, Congress has passed legislation to extend the current student loan rates for an additional year, preventing a doubling of the rate on federal loans. Student Loan Rate Update
6/19/12 – Student Loan Rate About To Double?
We’re less than 2 weeks away from the possibility that the interest rate on subsidized student loans will double. This article from Yahoo explains the issue and why Congressional action is necessary to preserve the current rates: Student Loan Bill
4/24/12 – Gift Cards – Use Them Or Lose Them
New Jersey has passed a law that will allow unused gift card balances to become the property of the state after the card has been inactive for two years. An article from CNBC about the law can be accessed using the following link: New Jersey Will Soon Claim Unused Gift Cards