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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

Sharks in The Waters!

By: Nikki M. Vasconez, Esq. If your estate plan is 10-20 years old or you don’t have an estate plan at all, you are inviting the sharks in the water to come in and take a bite out of your cash accounts, eat up all your stock, and divvy up the rest of your goods among their shark friends! By having a solid, up-to-date estate plan, you are avoiding the sharks and ensuring that everything you’ve worked so hard to Read More

The 1 Key Step to Protect Your Minor Children

By: Nikki M. Vasconez,  Esq. Q: “Hey, Mom. Can I skateboard to Johnny’s house in the City? It’ll only take me 45 minutes!”A: “No, honey. You’re 12 years old. I will drive you. “Q: “What if I take the train?”A: “No, I will drive you.”Q: “How about Max’s older brother? He just got his license! He said he’ll drive us anywhere!”A: “No.”Sometimes our kids think we are stuck on repeat by our seemingly consistent Read More

Learning More about Wills and Trusts Lawyers in Pennsylvania

Will vs. Living Will Most people probably get that “will” and “living will” are two different things, but a whole lot of them couldn’t actually tell you what exactly makes them different.  The term “will” is likely most familiar, as we’ve all seen them discussed on TV and in the movies.  It’s that document that is used to tell the courts what should be done with a person’s assets after he or she dies. Read More

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.  But because we love our children, and their health and Read More