Berman & Asbel, LLP

January 2014 Archives

Is it time for Pennsylvania to abolish the inheritance tax?

Inheritance taxes (or estate taxes as they are often called) are a controversial part of both state and federal tax law. Depending on how one looks at the situation, estate taxes may be seen as a useful way to redistribute money from the wealthiest families to render aid to the poorest. On the other hand, some who are subject to estate taxes see this type of levy as double-taxation on income already earned and taxed in other ways.

Prenuptial agreement could aid high asset divorce in Pennsylvania

When it comes to Pennsylvania couples and divorce, some couples may feel it best to prepare for certain situations ahead of time. They may have parents or know other individuals who have gone through separation proceedings and have had a difficult time dealing with property division. In many cases, a prenuptial agreement could save a lot of time and stress, especially in high asset divorce situations. However, some individuals may not know how to go about requesting such an agreement from their future spouse.

Court resolves conflict over error on wills

A couple created wills together back in 1999 and like a lot of people, put the wills away and did not revisit them for quite a long time. At the time that the wills were created, the couple had given each document identical terms so that there would be no confusion about where property and other assets should go. Unfortunately, at the time that the wills were signed and witness a mistake at their lawyer’s office resulted in each signing the other’s will. The switched signatures were not discovered until after the second of the two spouses passed away in 2006.

Lawsuits challenge same-sex marriage and divorce in Pennsylvania

Same-sex marriage has gained recognition in several states across the country. However, in Pennsylvania, the issue of same-sex marriage and divorce continues to be a point of contention. Recent legal endeavors, though, could potentially result in such marriages being legally recognized in the state, and in turn, have a significant impact across the country.

Dispute over heiress's wishes continues

Although many thought it ended late last year with a settlement agreement, the battle over the rightful beneficiaries of mining heiress Huguette Clarke continues. A nurse who cared for the wealthy recluse overnight for about two decades says that she was left out of settlement agreement talks and denied gifts that the heiress promised her.

Older Pennsylvania couples may face property division troubles

The longer a Pennsylvania couple is married, the more assets are typically accumulated that could potentially be considered marital property. As a result, if the couple decides to divorce later in life, property division could be a bit more complex. Determining who may be entitled to what could be critical for older couples as their financial situations could be a bit more precarious in individual terms.

Dispute over inheritance leads to shooting

An 80-year-old man was recent convicted of attempted murder in a middle-of-the-night shooting that took place at the home of his son. Prosecutors said that the man showed up at his son’s home and attempted to kill him after the son inherited an estate from the man’s mother that he apparently expected to receive.

Pennsylvania parents could have child support payment options

For many divorced Pennsylvania parents, the new year can mean a new beginning in many of their parenting endeavors. Some may wish to make the point of doing more activities with their children and making the most out of the time they spend together. Others may try to get a better handle on their child support situation by ensuring that their payments are made or received on time. By making such a task a priority, stressful situations may be able to be avoided.

Enforceability of mandatory arbitration of trusts

Trust settlors in eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware may have heard about a decision by the Texas Supreme Court regarding the mandatory arbitration of trusts. The court held that mandatory arbitration was enforceable in a particular case because that was the intention of the person who established the trust.

Child custody could impact a Pennsylvania parent's wish to move

When a Pennsylvania couple decides to divorce, the situation can cause a great upset in many aspects of their lives. At least one party will likely need to find a new place to live, and in many situations, that new place may not be in the same region as where the couple lived together. If this is the case, the situation can become complicated if children are involved. Child custody issues can play a significant role in whether a parent decides to move to specific location.

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