All posts by Janet Colliton

Parents of Disabled Children Can Consider a Letter of Intent

Lawyers typically consider the detailed tax and distribution planning involved in estates but the human aspect matters at least as much. Estate plans that consider disabled children, especially those who are still minors, can include planning that most parents might not realize. One way to handle this is with a writing separate from the Will […]

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How To Know Your Power of Attorney Is Accepted

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Recently I had an experience where a title company refused to accept a Power of Attorney since it did not contain the language “before me appeared …” I thought it was obvious based on other wording that the person giving the power was present before the notary but this type of rejection was significant since […]

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Federal Estate and Gift Tax – Do I Need to Worry?

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If I took the most top of the mind issues for seniors right now it would probably be “did you receive your COVID-19 vaccine shot yet?” followed by, “if so, where did you get it and how long did you have to wait.” The next burning issues would likely be “what is the effect of […]

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American Rescue Act of 2021 – A Shot In the Arm for Weary Americans

As we unwrap the provisions of the American Rescue Act of 2021, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, a point to note is it is a much needed shot in the arm for Americans weary of the devastating effects of the year long and continuing COVID-19 pandemic. […]

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Guidelines to Help When You Gift

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Gifting, whether for charitable purposes or to family, often raises questions like “how much am I permitted to gift?” or “what are the tax consequences of gifting?” Other significant questions include whether you can afford to gift, how much, or whether gifting could result in your being denied government benefits in later years. Assuming you […]

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What To Know When Considering Legal Documents

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When you are looking to buy into a senior community or to take out a reverse mortgage, when you are considering refinancing, or want to enter into a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you may in each case be confronted with the daunting task of wading through stacks of unfamiliar paperwork that can be […]

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How To Get The Covid-19 Vaccine

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Now that we are in the second month of 2021 many Americans and, specifically many Pennsylvanians are gearing up to receive one of the new COVID-19 vaccines. Chester County has been administering and intends to continue administering the Moderna vaccine. As I listened to friends, some of whom live in or work in senior communities, […]

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Seniors Are Moving – Senior Trends In Real Estate

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, my experience has been that many individuals, couples, and families are on the move, including seniors, and the move can be anywhere from a few miles down the road to far across the country. This does not eliminate the possibility of purchases overseas but, since the pandemic has severely restricted travel, […]

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Six Words That Can Change Your Estate Plan

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If I were asked what is the biggest mistake people make when arriving at an estate plan I would say it is the belief that an estate plan is only a Will. With this idea in mind often they go on line or call a lawyer’s office and give provisions for a Will only. This […]

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Pennsylvania Has A New Digital Assets Law

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On January 19, 2021 a new Pennsylvania law regarding digital assets went into effect. If you do not recognize what a digital asset is or why this matters, you are not alone. The law has the jawbreaking title of the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act or RUFADAA. Here is what it means. […]

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What Are Your Plans After the Pandemic?

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The COVID-19 pandemic that we expected to last for maybe a month in February, 2020 or so is now coming up on a one year anniversary and it is about time we started to ask ourselves “what are your plans after the pandemic?” For the skeptics I would point out that multiple vaccines have been […]

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Good Legal and Healthcare News Missed From 2020

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As we gaze back on 2020 and say “good riddance” it might help to focus attention on some good news from last year lighting our way forward.   This may be difficult since there were so many losses but here are a some that might not have received enough attention. Rapid Development of Vaccines. In health […]

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What New Years Means This Year

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On January 1, 2020 I positioned myself carefully as the sun rose over the ocean in Long Beach Island, New Jersey and there was a reason for that, a reason that I replay in my mind today with the approaching New Year.  I was following a custom I began about 20 years ago or so.  […]

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Planning An Uncertain Stimulus In the Pandemic

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As I write this column the question whether the U.S. Congress will pass a second stimulus package during the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain.  While Democrats and Republicans both report a deal is near, the clock ticks and both a proposed $900 billion pandemic relief bill and a potential government shutdown at midnight are on […]

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Some Advice on Trusts

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Sometimes our office receives a call with a question like “I need an irrevocable trust. Can you do that?”  My immediate response is “why do you believe you need an irrevocable trust?”  The reason might be the caller heard or read that irrevocable trusts can shelter residences for Medicaid purposes or avoid creditors or protect assets […]

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