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Estate Planning for Pennsylvania Grandparents

Simply put, the main purpose of estate planning is to pass on as much of your wealth to your heirs as possible. The vast majority of estate planners have grandchildren they love deeply. Planning for grandchildren is different than planning for children, though. Many grandchildren are still minors or just became adults when their grandparents start getting serious about estate planning.  Some grandparents do Read More

How Should Pennsylvanians Handle Inherited IRAs?

Individual Retirement Accounts (sometimes referred to as Individual Retirement Arrangements) provide a tax-advantaged retirement savings method. Principals may hold a variety of investments in IRAs. Depending on the type of IRA you have, you may either deduct contributions on your income tax returns or avoid paying taxes on distributions.  There are certain trade-offs for the advantageous tax treatment, Read More

Benefits of a Charitable Remainder Trust in Pennsylvania

There’s nothing stopping you from donating money or property to your favorite charity today, tomorrow, or next week. After all, you can deduct some charitable giving on the next round of income taxes you file. However, there may well be a more cost-efficient way to donate to your charity of choice while reducing your taxable income, providing your loved ones with a steady stream of income, AND avoiding capital gains Read More

Blended Families Face Unique Estate Planning Challenges

If you’re in a second marriage, your attorney needs to ask you the right questions, listen carefully as you describe your situation, and make sure he or she understands what’s important to you. There’s no such thing as a “standard” client, and that’s just as true for people in your situation. What If There’s No Will? This is a serious question - sometimes couples are reluctant to talk about how they want things Read More

Selecting Your Helpers (For Your Estate Plan)

Your estate plan needs people to make it work. The plan is the “map” to the destinations (results) you want, but your helpers are the ones that make it happen. These people are your trustees, executor, guardians, and agents (under Power of Attorney), who have the job of carrying out your wishes. Picking the right helpers is just as important as making a plan for your assets.  What Kind of ‘Helpers’ Do You Read More

Little-Known Risks of a Medicaid Application

You have some options when it comes to applying for Medicaid in Pennsylvania. Regardless of your reason for seeking this public funding, you can handle the application yourself, use an outside firm, have the Nursing Home for it, or have an Elder Law firm take care of it. There are plenty of Medicaid planning companies that can handle your application; many of them use the allure of a free consultation to entice new Read More

How much will the SECURE Act Cost Your Family?

Before the days of the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” (SECURE) Act, non-spouse beneficiaries of IRAs and other retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s could slowly take distributions from IRAs over their entire lifetime, and even beyond that for several more years to grandchildren. Even after tax, your beneficiary would end up pocketing more than the original inherited IRA was worth! If an IRA Read More

Virtual Probate: Is it Here to Stay?

At some point in the (hopefully not-so-distant) future, it will be the socially acceptable norm to resume in-person meetings and help pack your favorite restaurant to capacity. For the time being, though, we’ll have to make do with this new normal. Could some aspects of this new normal carry over to the next new normal? The answer is yes, and that could include virtual court hearings like Pennsylvanians have seen Read More

Last Will and Testament vs. Trusts

Of the countless estate planning documents available, Wills and trusts are arguably the two most common. Still, there are plenty of misconceptions about these two legal documents and what they can accomplish. We’ll cover the basics on Wills and trusts in this blog so you understand how you can use precise estate planning strategies to your advantage. What is a Will and Why Should You Have One? The Last Will and Read More

What is the Probate Process in Pennsylvania?

The last thing you want to deal with after the death of a family member or loved one is legal proceedings. Unfortunately, every decedent domiciled in Pennsylvania must have his or her affairs wrapped up in orphans’ court (the state’s version of probate court). The process is not typically onerous — especially with the right legal help — but it helps to know what to expect.  Formal vs. Simplified Read More