Why Can’t I Just Put Beneficiaries on Everything?

When looking at your assets, it is often a good idea to name someone as a beneficiary so that they will become the full owner of something upon your death. One common example of this is to have your spouse listed as a beneficiary on certain financial accounts so that they have immediate access to the money. This leads many people to wonder why things like a Will or Trust is even necessary. Why not just list specific Read More

2021 is Almost Over, and We’re Excited for 2022!

  If 2020 felt like a freefall or drop tower ride, then 2021 was most certainly a classical roller coaster of a year. The highs and lows, of course, all stemmed from COVID-19 and the race for vaccines and treatment. Not one person has been unaffected by the pandemic, and the team at HighPoint Law Offices is no exception.  Having opened in 2000, our firm has stood the test of time. By no means, however, is our team Read More

What is Our Unique ACE Client Care™ Program and What Is It For?

Would you agree that one thing we know about the future is that some things will change? New family members, new tax laws, investment changes, our health getting better or worse, just to name a few. And of course, our homes and our automobiles need regular maintenance. When a pilot plans a flight, he makes sure to note the “waypoints,” which are exact locations where the aircraft should be at specific times. Read More

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