Probate & Avoidance: Weighing the Risks

Probate is the process of opening a decedent’s estate.  If a Will is found, it is filed with the County Register of Wills and its instructions must be carefully followed by the named Executor.  Where no Will exists, an estate Administrator is selected from the nearest degree of relatives. Continue reading

The Second Marriage: Protecting Two Families

A high percentage of widowed or divorced persons remarry. Each spouse may come to the new marriage with children of his or her first marriage. The new marriage may also produce children. Serious consideration must be given to the planning of parents’ estates in this complex situation. Continue reading

Beware Trust Scams and Trust Salesmen

Every year, Pennsylvania residents are bombarded with mass mailings and advertisements that promise them that a trust will save their estate and their heirs lots of money.  In fact, door-to-door salesman will visit homes and explain to residents that the resident will pay thousands of dollars in Pennsylvania inheritance tax and fees if they do not set up a trust.  Do not believe these advertisements or these salesmen.  Continue reading

Why Homemade Wills Do Not Work

Many people believe that by merely writing down on a piece of paper what they want done with their property, they have created a legally enforceable Will that will be honored by the court.  This is nearly never true. Continue reading

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Health Care Power of Attorney can be executed to appoint an agent to make decisions for the principal, such as to admit the principal to a hospital, to hire or terminate doctors and nurses, and to arrange rehabilitation or long-term care.  Continue reading

The Family Business – Special Planning Needs

The family business is often the parents’ legacy to one or more of their children. It represents a lifetime, or sometimes several generations, of struggle and success. Without special estate planning by the parents, a child who has devoted himself to the family business can easily lose the fruits of his labors. Tax planning is also vital in this instance. Continue reading