As many Pennsylvania residents know, divorce proceedings can cause headaches for couples attempting to separate. Deciding who is able to claim what property often leads to strained arguments about who would benefit more from having certain items. As if separating is not stressful enough, complex property division can lead to overwhelmingly tense feelings. Burden can also be placed on others when property is not clearly owned by either party.
Last week, life insurance was the topic of our Pennsylvania Probate and Estate Administration Blog. Specifically, we wrote about some mistakes involving beneficiary designations that can cause problems for the intended beneficiary when the time comes to pay out the proceeds.
Life insurance proceeds are not traditionally considered an inheritance, but in fact it is money that is distributed to a beneficiary for their use after the death of the insured. Life insurance policies are one way to transfer money without the delay often associated with assets transferred through probate.
For Pennsylvania fathers who have gone through a divorce or ended a relationship with the mother of their children, it can seem as though the law is stacked against them. On one hand, should they encounter difficulties making their child support payments, a wide range of negative consequences could follow. Fathers can face losing their professional licenses, passports or driving privileges if they become delinquent on their child support obligations. In the worst cases, jail time could result.
When a Pennsylvania marriage ends in divorce, a significant portion of that process involves the division of marital property. Property division includes sizable assets such as investment accounts and real property, but can also span lesser matters, such as items of personal property or reward accounts. For couples who travel extensively, frequent flyer points can become an issue of debate within the divorce process.
A joint bank account allows a surviving spouse to somewhat seamlessly continue to have access to liquid assets after the death of the other. After all, the surviving spouse owns the assets. Why not use a similar plan involving a child or a friend? Doing so would help avoid the money getting tied up in the probate process in Philadelphia.
Trusts were the topic of the first post of this two-part series. While many of our posts in our Pennsylvania Probate and Estate Administration Blog talk about unique circumstances, individual situations and specific kinds of trusts. This series instead looks at trusts at a broad level. The first part focused on the parties in play in a trust arrangement. This post looks at some of the most basic structures for a trust.
In many cases, same-sex couples in Pennsylvania who seek to end their marriage face the same manner of issues as heterosexual families. For couples who share children, matters of child custody and support usually top the list of divorce priorities. This appears to be the likely focus for a celebrity couple who recently announced their split. The outcome of their unusual case could influence how other states approach matters of same-sex couples and divorce.
Pennsylvania law is very clear on the obligations that parents have to provide financial support to their children. There are repercussions for failure to do so, and many parents who have fallen into financial difficulty are fearful of becoming subject to these punitive measures. However, there are legal avenues available that can assist parents who cannot meet their child support obligations. One recent story serves as an example of how not to handle the issue.
The readers of our Pennsylvania Probate and Estate Adminstration Blog hear the word "trust" thrown around a lot. Our blog covers a wide range of issues that can arise in executing and administering a trust, but what exactly is a trust and who is involved in it?