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Monday, January 4, 2021

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 Process

Generally, the steps needed to settle an estate are as follows...

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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 create, is passed along to whomever YOU decide.

Below are some common estate planning mishaps that will invite the sharks to the party:

1. “I’ll just put beneficiaries on everything.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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.”

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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.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Rising Instances of Alzheimer’s and its Effect on the Family, by Peter J. Gilbert

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness month and the number of families who will be involved with care of a senior with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia is staggering. In 2016, more than five million Americans were living with the debilitating disease, and the numbers are only rising. For loved ones, the reality of managing the care and financial affairs of a senior with diminished mental capacity can be an extremely stressful.

Doctors say that unusual behavior, such as getting lost while driving or forgetting to change clothes, can be an early sign that a person may be suffering from some form of mental decline or impairment.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Caregivers, Do You Need Help Advocating for Your Loved Ones?

By Peter J. Gilbert, Esq.

In our office we meet with many family caregivers, they are seeking guidance for family members or themselves. They take on many roles from driving loved ones to appointments, managing their schedules, reviewing health insurance coverage, and making sure the bills get paid to helping them navigate health challenges. That means knowing what they want for care and quality of life, and making sure those wishes are followed.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Who Will Care For Your Pet If Something Happens To You?

By Peter J. Gilbert, Esq.

Many people own and care for animals, but to be honest, it’s pretty common for people to overlook the need to plan for them after their death. It’s not surprising that more and more people are recognizing that taking care of their pets is an integral part of their own estate plan. Most of the time, a person just assumes that their children or a friend, will take the pet into their home, but that may be an overly-optimistic plan.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Plan for your Adult Special Needs Child and Your Retirement

We see clients every day that are thinking about retirement. But for parents of special needs children, the advancements in medical science that allow for greater longevity for those with special needs also creates a planning issue. Parents of special needs children need to think about long-term planning for their child as a part of their retirement planning.

In my experience, here are five things you should know when planning for a special needs child:

  1. Plan for two lifetimes: your retirement and your special needs child’s lifetime. You’re not just planning for your retirement.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

“My wife and I did an estate plan with a revocable living trust back in 2003, we’re good right?”

By Peter J. Gilbert, Esq.

I recently met with prospective clients who had moved to Bucks County from Georgia and they wanted to be sure their estate plan was still “good. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t have an estate plan at all, so I was happy to see they had something in place. For some, it’s because they think that only wealthy people or those with complex tax issues require estate planning.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Add Tax Planning to the List of New Parent Tasks

The last thing most new parents are thinking about is taxes, but the addition of a new baby to your family has some nice tax perks, according to "The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for New Parents" from Kiplinger's. Read on to learn about the opportunities that can save on new parents on taxes, and those to avoid.

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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.

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