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 Read More

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 Read More

PA Inheritance Tax Exemption for Qualified Family Owned Business Interests

When a loved one passes away in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth will impose an Inheritance Tax on all the beneficiaries of that estate. Typically a beneficiary may have to pay between 0 and 15 percent inheritance tax depending on their familial relationship to the decedent on everything that they receive from the decedent. (For a list of the inheritance tax scroll to the bottom of this post). But recently an exemption Read More

What can a Special Needs Trust Pay For?

There is one question that our client’s always ask when designing a Special Needs Trust (SNT) for a loved one, “What can the Trust pay for?” It is a great question and a very important question. If funds from a trust are not used properly, then the loved one that the trust was set up to provide for could be at risk of losing their government benefits for a period. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a major Read More

ABLE Act: What is it?

On December 19, 2014, the President signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (H.R. 647), commonly known as the ABLE Act. The Act now becomes Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code and is modeled loosely on the Section 529 college savings programs already within the Code. According to the Act, its purpose is to “encourage and assist individuals and families in Read More

The Kiddie Car Syndrome, submitted by a Valued ACE Advantage™ Client

The summer I was three, my parents took me to Jones Beach to play in the sand and drive the kiddie cars around a small circular track.  I took driving very seriously, negotiating every twist and turn with elaborate care. And my efforts did not go unnoticed. "Look how well she drives!" cried my mother. "She stays right on the track," said my dad. I was impressed by my own virtuosity. In fact, I was so Read More

How to Avoid the Need for a Probate Lawyer in Bucks and Montgomery Counties

If you are dealing with an estate that has to go through the probate process in Pennsylvania, your smartest move is choosing to work with a local probate lawyer.  There are cases where very simple estates will move through fairly easily, but there is still a matter of paperwork, accounting, etc. to consider; and a probate lawyer can save you an incredible amount of time and hassle. The best way to avoid the Read More

There is only one certainty in life and death… TAXES.

Federal Estate Taxes: Most people know that when you die, the Federal Government might impose a tax on your estate in the form of an Estate Tax. According to the IRS, an Estate Tax is “a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death.” Your taxable estate is the fair market value of your assets from Read More

My Special Needs Child is Turning 18

I often ask clients who are parents of a special needs child, “Have you decided who will be responsible for your child’s financial and healthcare decision-making after their 18th birthday?” 99% of the time the response is, “What are you talking about? I’m their parent so I will be the decision maker after they’re 18… (long pause)… right?” Wrong. In Pennsylvania the law states that a person reaches the age of Read More

Here’s at Least One Thing That We Have in Common with The One-Percenters

I was fascinated by a recent New York Times article that talked about the one thing that common folk and millionaires alike agree on:  they don't want to talk about death or inheritance.  What was particularly stunning to me was that most of the people in this survey had already gone to the trouble of creating a will, yet most agreed that they were not likely to talk to their kids about it! Read More