Monthly Archives: October 2012

HAMP and the Mortgage Crisis

In the five years or so prior to 2008 there was a party of unprecedented magnitude.  Invited to the affair were mortgage brokers, banks, title companies, appraisers, real estate brokers, and, oh yes, the homeowners.  Exactly what launched the process will be for social historians… Continue reading

Family Farms Now Exempt from Inheritance Tax

In June 30, 2012, Governor Corbett signed into law legislation that would exempt family farms from Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.  Farm estates are often large, and they are usually “illiquid” (i.e., the typical family farmer is “land rich” and “cash poor”).  As a consequence, the inevitable… 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

Photo ID is NOT Required to Vote this November

There is good deal of confusion about whether Pennsylvania voters will be required to produce a photo ID at polling places on November 6th.   The current status of the voter ID law is that photo identification is not necessary to vote on November 6th.   Even… 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

In Passing: Judges are Only Human

In Arkansas a Supreme Court Judge, Sam Pope, has been suspended for 30 days for getting himself into a fistfight.  In a Walmart’s no less! Seems that Judge Pope’s wife was involved in extramarital behavior with a man whose name is Bill Murray (not that… Continue reading

Pennsylvania’s New Public Works Employment Verification Act

Beginning January 1, 2013, a contractor or a subcontractor on a “public work” project in Pennsylvania must verify to the public body it is contracting with that it has checked the employment eligibility of its newly hired workers. As a precondition of being awarded a… Continue reading