People are having children later and later in life. Janet Jackson gave birth to a son at 50, while Steve Martin discovered the joys of parenthood at 67 (decades after starring in the movie Parenthood).
But becoming a parent later-in-life has its challenges, including certain estate planning and retirement considerations.
Continue Reading Estate Planning and Retirement Considerations for Late-in-Life Parents
When the legendary singer Aretha Franklin died earlier this year, she left behind an astonishing musical legacy, an estate reportedly in the neighborhood of $80 million…but no will.
Continue Reading Aretha Franklin Dies Without a Will
We’re thinking a lot these days about gifting, and not just because the holiday shopping season is upon us.
Gift giving is an act of kindness, a way to demonstrate our love and affection for people, but it’s also an essential tool in the world of estate planning.
What do we mean? Well, you might want to give away assets while you’re still alive so that they aren’t included in your estate and open to taxation after your death.
We understand this impulse. It not only makes financial sense, but you’ll get to see your loved ones enjoy your gifts. However, it’s important to think about the tax implications that might apply before you act.
Continue Reading The Gifting Season is Here: What to Know Before You Give
What is an elder law attorney?
The dictionary definition of an “elder law attorney” is simple: an advocate for older people, and their loved ones.
But talk to Garrett Gummer, a longtime Bucks County elder law expert, and you’ll get a much more nuanced answer. It’s a role that covers everything from estate planning to will preparation to powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney to setting up trusts.
“If your parent or grandparent has to go into a nursing home, we help protect their nest egg,” he says. “There are ways to do that if you properly plan for it.
“If a loved one dies, we help you administer their estate if you’re appointed as the executor. Or if they haven’t done a proper power of attorney, sometimes it’s necessary for us to petition the court to have you or another family member appointed guardian.”
Continue Reading What is an Elder Law Attorney?
Signed into law late in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Proponents of the law say it will stimulate the economy and create jobs, but how does it actually affect you? We should also note that everything we describe below will end after 2025, assuming legislators don’t vote to extend the cuts.
Continue Reading How Will the New Tax Law Affect You?
So, you’ve been named the executor of a will. It’s not a job to take lightly. Dealing with wills in Bucks County – or anywhere else – means managing the administration of a person’s estate after they die.
And while the amount of time you need to commit to this role can vary, administering even a small estate comes with important responsibilities.
Here are a few of the things you’ll be expected to do as the executor of a will.
Continue Reading The Duties of the Executor of a Will
Wills and trusts are binding legal documents, but that doesn’t mean they’re written in stone. They can be altered as the circumstances in your life change. In this blog post, we will review why you may need to update your will, living will or trust.
1. Marriage or divorce
If you’ve just gotten married, you’ll want to determine what portion of your assets should go to your spouse following your death.
If this is a second marriage or you have children from a previous relationship, you may need to consult with an estate planning attorney on how to provide for all your loved ones.
And although getting divorced usually cuts your spouse out of your will, you’ll still need to determine other matters, especially if your will had called for them to serve as your executor or guardian of your children.
Continue Reading Why You Need to Update Your Estate Planning Documents
When you hear the word “retirement,” what do you picture yourself doing? Traveling the world? Catching up on all the books you were too busy to read? Spending time with your children and grandchildren?
Those are all fine, noble goals, and we want to see you achieve them. But first, there’s work to be done, and we’re not talking about your career. We’re talking about the financial and legal measures you need to take to plan for your future.
Here are five ways an elder law attorney can help you prepare for your later years.
Continue Reading 5 Steps to Help You Plan for Your Future
Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage? The considerations are much different for an older couple than for a young couple just starting out. Before making this decision, you should consider consulting your elder law attorney to review your situation, including the following:
Getting married can have a big effect on your estate plan. Even if you exclude your new spouse in your will, he or she is permitted to take an elective share against your estate (usually one-third). One way to prevent this from happening is to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement before your marriage.
Continue Reading Is It Better to Remarry or Just Live Together?
In the early 1850s, Charles Dickens published his popular serialized novel Bleak House, which deals with the British court system.
At the center of the book is a court case called Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, a battle over an inheritance that drags on over several generations.
Dickens used the plot to satirize the court system of his time, but 160 years later and one ocean away, there’s something about the story that rings true: not making your wishes clear can make things difficult for your heirs.
That’s where the PA probate system comes in. Probate – from the Latin for “prove the will” is the process of ensuring your assets are passed on according to the terms of your will. It can be a very simple process, or more complicated, depending on the circumstances.
Continue Reading Understanding Probate of an Estate in Pennsylvania