Divorce and Your Estate Plan – Points to Know


Divorce results in a major property shift. Some of it obvious. Some not so much. As couples negotiate it is very possible that important elements regarding properties’ titling and their estate plan could go unnoticed until later. Here are some points to consider. Real Estate and Other Asset Titling. For couples represented by competent divorce […]

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Reasons To Hire a Lawyer For Probate


This column is a followup to a prior one on February 1, 2022 titled “Do You Need To Avoid Probate in Pennsylvania?” A similar and related question is whether you should hire an attorney. There are several reasons why often the answer is “yes” and not just based in self interest. Here are some reasons […]

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Do You Need To Avoid Probate in PA


Over the years I have frequently heard clients and others argue against probate as a means to distribute property on death. Sometimes the commentary follows viewing a television program by a commentator such as Suze Orman who is a California based financial planner. Sometimes the individual has read commonly cited statements regarding differences between living […]

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Estate Planning, Digital Assets and Cryptocurrency


Recently I have come to know some terms through contacts with clients and other professionals.  They include bitcoin, cryptocurrency, block chain technology and NFT (Non Fungible Tokens).  I was already familiar with a related topic, digital assets, the subject of a Pennsylvania law passed in 2020 with the jaw breaking title, the Pennsylvania Revised Uniform […]

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For Detailed Instructions Consider a Letter Of Instruction


I have frequently written about letters of intent as a means for parents of disabled children to pass on information regarding their instructions if the parent dies. See April 6, 2021, “Parents of Disabled Children Can Consider Letter of Intent.” Only recently have I come to appreciate Letters of Intent or the similar Letter of […]

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How to Develop a Plan for 2022


Planning for Elder Law Attorneys often involves planning for crisis but does not need to be limited to this. While not all elder law practices involve planning for healthier times, ours does. For crisis planning and strategies we consider estates and what happens when clients die or become disabled. We review alternatives for long term […]

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2022 Will Be An Uncertain Year


“Unpredictable” or “uncertain” might be the best words to describe the new 2022. It would be hard to go wrong using such terms since the two prior years contained events that could hardly be expected or predicted in advance. Just taking our most recent history with COVID-19 as one example, who could have foretold that, […]

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Searching for A Home For the Holidays


This has been a tough year. Just when we thought we had almost conquered COVID-19 and were beginning to reopen with enthusiasm, exuberance even, we first discovered the Delta and then the Omicron variant. As we learn the Greek alphabet gradually we struggle to reconnect with others and even sometimes with ourselves. This sent me […]

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Dealing With Unknowns In Retirement


While we frequently plan for our estates considering what we leave to our spouses and children it is probably a fact that we rarely consider the long life ahead either for ourselves or for our spouses as widows or widowers. When we do think of these planning possibilities we generally think in terms of how […]

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Qualified Charitable Distributions Can Reduce Taxes


Using an old adage “you can have your cake and eat it too,” there are several ways whereby contributions to charity might also reduce your tax burden while benefiting causes you support. One of these is a Qualified Charitable Distribution sometimes referenced as a QCD. QCD’s can use the federal tax code to benefit taxpayers, […]

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How Much Does A Will Cost?


Despite the number of times I have repeated that a client is not buying a Will I still hear as I did a little over a week ago by phone the same question. “How much does a Will cost?” This is probably because consumers are constantly asked the question “Do you have a Will?” which […]

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What Does An Executor Do?


Sometimes clients suggest ideas that lend themselves easily to columns. This column resulted from a comment by a client who had been asked by a relative if he would be willing to serve as Executor of her estate when she passes. The question from my client was straightforward. “What does an Executor do?” I know […]

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Where Is Home When You Have More Than One?


The arrival of COVID-19 followed by the Delta variant likely contributed to a movement already underfoot for some Americans – sharing time between what had always been considered their primary residence and a vacation home. Now that workers did not necessarily need to report to work regularly at a physical location and could handle their […]

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Facts on Medicare Supplements vs. Medicare Advantage

Medicare Supplements vs. Medicare Advantage

I had planned to forego any further writing on Medicare plans and Open Enrollment which is now ongoing until December 7, thinking that my prior column on MEDI, a free service staffed by volunteers that provides advice on the topic (see November 2) would be enough. However, the vast number of television ads and the […]

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What To Do If Your Bank Refuses Your Power of Attorney


When processing paperwork for your family member or friend in need, few circumstances become more frustrating than finding a bank, financial institution, insurance company or government office that refuses to accept your paperwork due to some previously unrecognized flaw. High on the list of refusals may be refusal to accept a validly executed power of […]

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