Posts written by buteralaw

The Estate Tax – Not Quite Gone

Beginning January 1 of this year, the federal estate and gift tax thresholds have essentially doubled. Under the new law the exemption amounts for both estate and gift taxes jump to $11,200,000 per individual and $22,400,000 per married couple. For an unmarried individual, this means… Continue reading

Upset Tax Sales – Proceed with Great Caution

Tax sales are often touted as methods to get rich quick for new real estate investors.  However, it is vitally important that such an investor proceed with caution and learn the basics of the tax sale process in the jurisdiction in which he or she… Continue reading

Pennsylvania Tax Appeal Deadlines

Note well that if you received a Notice of Assessment from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue you now have only 60 days to appeal the assessment to the Board of Appeals rather than the former period of 90 days. The same is true of the… Continue reading

Unsigned Wills and Attorney Liability

Wills and estate documents are not always signed before death makes its inevitable visit.  This is a recurring problem, and for law firms that plan estates it is not uncommon that reminders must be sent to clients regarding the status of the unsigned documents.  Usually… Continue reading

The Queen’s English: However Resuscitated

Grammatical myths arise (“Never end a sentence with a preposition.”) and are often difficult to dispel.  One such “rule” is that sentences should never begin with however.  Not so. An illustration:  “The Phillies were on the verge of a big inning with the bases loaded. … Continue reading

What is the PALCB?

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) was established in conjunction with the 21st Amendment and the repeal of Prohibition. It was created by state law on Nov. 29, 1933, just four days before the end of Prohibition. The agency is governed by a three-member Board… Continue reading

Cigar Bars in Pennsylvania

Notwithstanding Pennsylvania’s general prohibition on smoking in bars, Pennsylvania does permit the operation of “cigar bars”. Under the Clean Indoor Air Act, a proposed cigar bar needs to apply for and obtain a Department of Health exemption to allow smoking on the premises. All permits… Continue reading

Small Claims Court

Pennsylvania’s small claims court system is a system of uniform statewide Magisterial District Justice courts. Each of the more than 500 Magisterial District Justices has exclusive jurisdiction over his or her specific geographic area. Civil claims can be brought in the district where the defendant… Continue reading

If You are in a Car Accident…

Here are some basic tips to remember if you should have the misfortune of being in a car accident: Safety first – get yourself (and your vehicle, if possible) out of harm’s way. Call the police and report the accident. Assist others involved in the… Continue reading

Planning for Your Digital Estate

For better or worse, an increased number of our financial and personal activities are conducted and logged on-line. This can prove difficult when a person dies or becomes incapacitated. Activities as varied as the relatively unimportant maintenance (or shutting down) of a Facebook account, accessing… Continue reading