Berman & Asbel, LLP

August 2012 Archives

5 must-dos for estate planning

Planning your estate in the case of your own death or injury is uncomfortable at best, but must be done in order to protest your assets and ease the process for your beneficiaries and family. We have five must-do tips to get your estate in order now, three of which we will cover this week.

Holmes, Cruise finalize split; now they can both move on

One of the common ways divorce is represented is as a "problem." Divorce carries such a negative connotation because it represents the end of marriage, which is personified as one of the great human institutions. However, divorce is not a problem, nor is it a bad thing.

Custody battle continues between Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry

As many divorced Pennsylvania parents may know, moving your child out of state after a divorce can be a difficult endeavor as the relocating parent needs to prove to the court the move is in the best interest of the child. According to a report, which evaluated the child custody case between Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry and their 4-year-old child, the actress's request to move the child out of the country is unlikely to be approved by the court. Ms. Berry has been the subject of death threats and recently a man convicted of stalking her has been released from prison, thus her concerns over her and her daughter's safety.

Trusting the gift of travel in wills

Forgoing the traditional inheritance route, a familial patriarch arranged for his children to be allotted $8,000 a year in order to travel between the U.S. and Israel, guaranteeing that after his death, his family would remain close. This is becoming more and more common as people want to have more control over what happens to the money they leave to loved ones once they're gone -- whether it's family reunions, visits to countries with family roots, or simply giving the irreplaceable gift of seeing the world. Building a trust into a will is a financially safe option for those who wish to follow this route.

Guilty verdict reflects positively for gay parents' rights

One woman's plight to find her daughter has been making headlines across the nation, including Pennsylvania. Reportedly, the woman entered into a civil union in 2000 in Vermont with her same-sex partner, two years later they had a daughter and a year later they split. The court granted custody to the woman's partner, but when the partner refused to adhere to the visitation schedule and it looked as though she was going to lose custody, she fled the country with the child in tow. Her last known whereabouts are Nicaragua.

Protect your estate from credit card debt

For those of us who buy on credit, we often think about our payments -- keeping them on time, paying more than the minimum, and getting our balance down. But what happens to credit card debt in the case of a death? The estate makes the payments on credit cards and other debts, but if a person dies with more debt than assets to pay or cover them, often the credit card companies are stuck with the balance.

A trust can ensure your wishes are carried out after you pass on

Pennsylvania residents who pay attention to tax law and current events know that an important law related to estate planning is set to change. At the beginning of 2013, the current rates for the estate and gift taxes are set to change. If Congress does not take action, the top rates for large inheritances are set to go up.

Pennsylvania vows pursuit of delinquent child support payments

The state of Pennsylvania is celebrating its child support collection program and promising to continue tracking down parents who are behind on their payments. Governor Tom Corbett proclaimed August as Child Support Enforcement Awareness Month, and he claims the state has enjoyed "exemplary success" in child support collections and enforcement efforts. He promises the state will stay on the case of people who don't pay what the courts have ordered.

Estate administration requires access to online accounts

In the age of the Internet, the number and types of accounts and services that are accessed electronically are more common than not. This is why, now more than ever before, it has become extremely important to ensure that Pennsylvania residents keep an up-to-date inventory list of all accounts and corresponding passwords as part of their estate planning.

Valuating an asset in Pennsylvania is more than picking a price

When you walk through a department store everything has a price tag. If you asked the salesperson to negotiate a lower price or barter for something else they would probably just laugh. That's how it works in a department store, but not during a divorce.

Executing a living will now can eliminate emotional turmoil later

Medical television shows often capitalize off of a plot that occurs all too often in the real world. The situation: a patient waits on life support while a family argues over what should be done next. While it makes for great evening drama, it can be one of the most emotional and difficult scenarios for people who are not make-believe characters.

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