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Monday, July 10, 2017

The Three Most Important Steps to take BEFORE sending your Kids off to College this Fall


By Peter J. Gilbert, Esq.

It's almost that time of year again when the kids are off to college. While we are all very excited for them, we are also concerned about the "what ifs".  You hear so many stories of tragedies on college campuses, from drinking binges to fraternity hazing, and we're all confident that will never happen to our kids.


Read more . . .


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Meet our Newest Attorney, Jeffrey Baxter!

Jeffrey Baxter is the newest attorney to our Highpoint Law Team. Like the firm’s founding attorney, Peter J. Gilbert, the law is Jeff’s second career.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Jeff served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the Naval Air Development Center (NADC) in Warminster.  He also served in the Naval Reserves at NAS Willow Grove.

Read more . . .


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Is your Estate Plan up to Date with Technology?

One of the biggest complications in estate planning is that the law is forever catching up to technology. Obviously, for privacy concerns, access to the content of communications such as emails, text messages and social media accounts must be specifically given to an Executor or Power of Attorney Agent. These specific instructions should be placed in your will, trust, power of attorney or similar document. Does your Power of Attorney or Will or Trust mention access to digital access or on-line accounts?

There may come a time when someone needs lawful access to your online accounts and the current default (similar to laws of “intestacy,” when someone dies without an estate plan) is to follow a companies’ terms of services agreements. Some companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have developed policies to deal with the accounts of deceased users, but many are still unaware of these policies.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 24, 2016

How to Plan for Long-Term Care Costs

By Peter J. Gilbert

At least seven out of ten Americans age 65 and over will need long-term care at some point. Most people simply underestimate the cost of long-term care, or they think that Medicaid will cover the costs. So what is your best defense against long-term care costs? Advance planning with professional help.

Medicaid won’t pay until almost all the assets of a person/couple are spent, so many people must pay for these costs out-of-pocket until they are nearly out of money; an unnecessary occurrence.


Read more . . .


Monday, November 9, 2015

Husband’s Will Leaves Second Wife Broke!

By Mark J. Manta, Esq.

Benjamin’s second wife, Julia, was a decade younger than her sixty year old husband.  They had one son, Brad, who has Down’s syndrome. Before Julia, Ben was married to Sarah for twenty years and had two children, John and Mary, who were estranged from Ben and were now adults living on their own.  Ben and Sarah divorced ten years ago, but Ben had always hoped for a reconciliation with his children and indeed sent them money on their birthdays every year.

Julia had never given a second thought to Ben’s finances or will as he had always taken good care of her and Brad.  Ben’s work in the healthcare industry provided well for his family. They had a large home in an upscale development.  Since he started working, Ben put his money into an IRA, and it was now worth over $2 million. Julia didn’t know much about it, Ben got e-statements from Vanguard and she only saw references on the tax return she signed.

A week ago Ben had fallen asleep reading, but this time he didn’t stir as Julia approached the couch. The day after the funeral she found his will in an envelope in the antique secretary. Her heart sank when she saw that it had been drafted before they had Brad.  The will left his estate to be split evenly, half to his estranged children the other half to Julia. She didn’t think Ben would have given John and Mary this much today, not with Brad’s special needs.  When she got in touch with Vanguard regarding the IRA, they told her that Ben had never changed the beneficiary from his first wife.

She couldn’t comprehend it. She won’t have any of the IRA; it all goes to Sarah.  Ben’s estranged children will each get $125,000 and Julia gets $250,000, the house and the cars. It’s not enough. Julia realizes she will have to sell the house and she doesn’t know how she’ll provide for Brad and his special needs.

Do you think this is how Ben wanted to take care of his family? Estate planning attorneys know a lot about the law, but to tell the truth, there’s a lot we don’t know. We don’t know when you’re going to die, what the law, or your family situation, or your assets will be like then. So how do we make sure your plan (your Will or your Trust) works correctly at that future time? We’ve found that the common-sense way to keep your plan on track is to get together every so often to review things and make any needed changes. We call this program ACE Advantage.

It’s not just about having the documents. If Ben and Julia had an easy way to keep in touch with their estate attorney, the changes in their lives would have been incorporated into their estate plan.  With our ACE Advantage platform, clients of HighPoint Law Offices have access to services to keep their plan up to date.  Both Ben and Julia would have been able to make informed decisions about how best to care for Brad.  With the ability to call with quick questions or make changes, there would not have been any dark surprises waiting in the secretary.  The difficult time in dealing with the death of a spouse would have not been compounded by the consequences of an estate plan that no longer worked.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Thank you to all Lehigh Valley ACE Advantage™ members who were able to join us for the Annual Client Meeting!

Thank you all Lehigh Valley ACE Advantage™ members for joining us at our Annual Client Meeting.  In addition to a delicious dinner at Shula's Steak House, ACE members Millie Xu and her daughter, Jenny Bai treated us to a facinating presentation about Millie's remarkable life story, and how events in her life culminated in the creation of the Live Wright Society.  We were particularly impressed with Live Wright's Legacy message:  

"Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.  

A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.

-- Shannon L. Alder"

We couldn't agree more, Millie.  Thank you for delivering this thought-provoking message!


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HighPoint Law Offices assists clients with Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, Medicaid Planning and IRA Preservation in Chalfont, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas including Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Lehigh, Monroe and Northampton Counties.



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