As the year draws to a close, tax and estate planning has been on the minds of many people in Pennsylvania, and it can be a good time to revisit the basic financial and estate planning strategies and tools. Updating wills and reviewing beneficiaries listed on insurance policies, retirement accounts, and pensions ensures that property is inherited by the desired individuals.
When going through legal processes that involve children, some parents can feel very strongly about the way they want certain decisions to go. Child custody proceedings are one area in which parents often feel that they want their opinions and choices to matter. If a decision does not go a certain way or the dispute continues for an extended period of time, some parents could become desperate and make unwise decisions concerning their children.
Members of the baby boom generation care more about holding on to family heirlooms and personal keepsakes than they do about inheriting money or assets from their parents, according to a recent survey. In fact 86 percent of baby boomers who were surveyed said that maintaining their family legacy and keeping their history alive was the most important thing to pass down among the generations. Overall 74 percent of Americans also hold this view.
Cultural critics often accuse Americans of trying to avoid talking about death. It's a line of argument that dates to at least the 1940s, when the British novelist Evelyn Waugh published a satirical send-up of the funeral industry called "The Loved One."
Some parents may wish to stay in a failing marriage due to fear of the impact that it could have on the children. Separating parents could lead to child custody issues or other stressful situations for children and parents alike. However, it is important to remember that Pennsylvania children may be able to learn valuable lessons from the actions of their parents, and that includes lessons about relationships from divorce.
Is your email account a part of your estate plan? This might seem like a very strange question, but take a moment and consider everything that is stored in that email account - personal correspondence, online bill paying, and professional information, among other things. If these items were kept mostly on paper or in a filing cabinet, information about how to access them would certainly be a part of an estate plan, and it would also likely be easier for families to gain access if it was forgotten. However, with online accounts we bring in agreements with third parties and laws governing information on the internet. When that happens, the situation becomes more complex and it is harder for relatives to find the information that they need.
While going through divorce proceedings, deciding which party may be entitled to what property can become a complicated endeavor. Factors such as Pennsylvania state laws on property division as well as how much each individual believes certain property to be worth can play major roles. As a result, it is important that each person involved understands the options for dividing assets.
Same-sex marriage has been a controversial issue for an extended period of time and continues to be today. There are often headlines made dealing with same-sex marriage and divorce as states legalize the unions of same-sex couples and what impact those legalizations have. Pennsylvania is currently the only northeastern state that has not yet legalized same-sex marriage, but challenges to the ban could be making a difference.