Your Resource in Administering an Estate

By Colin B. May, Esquire Estate Planning Attorney After a loved one or close friend dies, the funeral is only the beginning of the involved process to come. This process is known as “probate” or estate administration and it is the court-based system whereby a person appointed “executor” or “administrator” acts as a manager of the estate: satisfying debts and taxes, informing those involved in the process, paying taxes, and ultimately passing property from the deceased person to the beneficiaries...

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What’s In a Name?

How common mistakes in asset titles and beneficiaries cause trouble  The valuable assets which we enjoy to provide us with security, comfort and freedom in life are hard to come by, and harder to keep sometimes. With everything going on in our lives, it is easy to lose track of some of the background “details” about our financial lives, but when a death happens, those details can suddenly become very important. We at The Estate Planning Centers often see mistakes that families...

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Young Parents and Estate Planning

I am often asked to meet with young parents to discuss what type of estate planning is necessary now that children are in the picture. While everyone needs to have some basic planning in place, the birth of children is a milestone which makes it critically important to make sure that the important issues are addressed.  The following documents are critical for any young parent:  A Will with Testamentary Trusts, to assure that assets remain available to the surviving spouse in...

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Do I Have An Estate Worth Planning?

I am often asked this question, and the answer is: YES! If you are the “short answer” type of person, then that is all you need to know, and you can call us for a complimentary review of your estate planning needs. If you prefer longer answers, which unfortunately is my habit, then I offer the following observations. When people asked me whether they are wealthy enough to consider estate planning, or trusts, or some other techniques, I often relay my observation that we all die...

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When Parents Need Your Help

With advances in lifestyle and medicine in this county, people are living far longer than prior generations. While life may be getting longer, it isn’t always getting better. The natural aging process remains a part of our lives. When our parents get older, children need to recognize that they may need some help. Perhaps a parent is having physical issues which limit their ability to get out in the world or to provide proper care for themselves. Deterioration of mental acuity is another...

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Does The Trump Tax Law Affect My Estate Plan?

By Colin B. May, EsquireEstate Planning Attorney In life, we can only be certain of three things: eventually passing away, paying taxes, and the assurance of constant change. In no place is this lesson more apparent that the ever-changing landscape of our tax code. If you’ve kept up to date with the news, you have certainly heard that big changes are in store beginning as early as this year! First of all, what does the new tax law do?The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 or “TCJA”, is unquestionably...

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Estate Tips for a Young Family After Divorce

By Colin B. May, EsquireEstate Planning Attorney In all likelihood, if you and an ex-spouse made an estate plan together, that plan mentions your ex-spouse’s name quite frequently. Maybe they are listed as your executor, maybe your agent under power of attorney, or maybe even the person who would receive your property if you were no longer around! Most people do not intend this result following a divorce. Thankfully, the Pennsylvania legislature recognizes that this is not what most people...

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Planning for Personalities

Considerations when selecting your Executor, Trustee or Agent By Mark T. Coulter, EsquireEstate Planning Attorney My youngest son asked me the other day what people did for fun before the Internet. I glanced at the picture on the table of our six children, smiled, and evasively replied “We played games.” My family is my passion, as is true for most of my clients. With the joys of family, however, come the tension and disputes which are inevitable for people who spend a lifetime involved...

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Estate Planning Deficiencies Check-Up

Every successful estate plan has certain key elements to protect your goals and interests, and meet the needs of your family if you become ill or pass away. Your understanding of your own plan is one of the first key elements, and yet most people don’t know if they have a plan which is poised to create success for their family.  The following checklist is a good way to spot-check whether you can rest easy, knowing that your plan is in good shape. If so, you should be able to answer Yes to...

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