Category: Estates / Wills

Is Your Will Over 3 Years Old?

When was the last time you looked at your will?  If it is more than a few years old, recent legislation, coupled with changes in your own circumstances, may have caused your existing will to become obsolete.  Consider: Many older wills typically used complicated trust… Continue reading

Joint Wills, Mixed Families and the “Disinherited” Stepchild

The most common estate planning scenario we see is the “joint will” between spouses. For example, husband gives everything to wife, unless she predeceases him, in which case everything goes to the kids.  Likewise, wife, in her will, gives everything to husband, unless he dies… Continue reading

You Can’t Take it With You…

For individuals with substantial estates, 2012 presents what may be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to take advantage of the Federal gift tax exemptions.  Gifts to family members can be a favorable way to “shrink” your estate to avoid estate tax on death.  Here… Continue reading

Monitoring an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

We frequently receive calls from individuals who are concerned about the conduct of their loved one’s agent under a power of attorney.  While the details change, the pattern is often the same; a child who is not his or her parent’s agent under a power… Continue reading

Estate Planning Alert

The ever-shifting tax battles in Washington have left estate planners in a quandary for the past 12 years; and it’s beginning to look as though the angst is to continue at least until November’s election. As you know, the so-called “Bush Era Tax Cuts” are… Continue reading

Time To Update Estate Documents?

          With the recent changes in the Internal Revenue Code, Congress has increased the personal exemption for the estate of anyone dying after January 1, 2011, to $5,000,000.  For a married couple the exemption is $10,000,000, and talking full advantage of the allowable exemption has… Continue reading

Estate Planning for Pets

In the 1970 Disney Movie The Aristocats, Madame Adelaide Bonfamille wishes for her fortune to be left to her cats, which will retain it until their deaths, at which time the fortune is to pass to Edgar, her long-time, yet unscrupulous butler.  Life then imitated… Continue reading

It is Time to Review Your Estate Plan

 Good news.   As you may know, the Internal Revenue Code has recently been revised, and in the case of the Estate Tax, the changes are substantial.   The amount of the individual exclusion which was scheduled to be $1,000,000 in 2011 was increased to… Continue reading

Post Death Capital Gains and the December Tax Legislation

In December 17 of last year President Obama signed into existence the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization and Job Creation Act of 2010” to clarify the uncertainties surrounding the future of the federal estate tax – at least for the next two years.  As outlined… Continue reading

Have A Will, Keep It Current

A 2007 study by an affiliate of Martindale-Hubbell found that over one-half of adult Americans do not have a will.  What this statistic implies from state to state varies in the detail.  However, on a general level we can state what it means in Pennsylvania. First,… Continue reading