Berman & Asbel, LLP

September 2014 Archives

Division of property considerations in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania couples who choose to end their marriage often are able to resolve issues involving such matters as property division and spousal support on their own. However, when they are unable to agree, the court will make these determinations. Pennsylvania statutes set forth a variety of factors that the court will consider when making a property division order. As is the case in most other states, Pennsylvania follows the principles of equitable distribution, and thus the resulting division is not necessarily equal.

Mistakes celebrities made in their estates can be avoided

The estate planning mistakes of some celebrities can teach Pennsylvania retirees some very important lessons. Michael Crichton, Casey Kasem, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams all made some critical errors that could have been avoided. These mistakes affected the privacy of their estate, the amount of money their heirs paid to the government and, in Chrichton's case, the inheritance of one of his children.

Avoiding important estate planning mistakes

A Pennsylvania resident with few assets may figure that there is not really a need for an estate plan. However, this is just one of many errors that could affect the outcome for that person as well as for possible beneficiaries. It is easy to put off estate planning, but the issue should not be ignored. Even with a modest estate, a plan may help in limiting challenges for those expecting to inherit a decedent's assets.

How is property divided during a divorce in Pennsylvania?

A couple going through a divorce will need to deal with the division of marital assets and debts. After the filing of the divorce complaint, either spouse may request that the court divide debts and assets held by the couple. This will be handled under the principle of equitable distribution that governs property division in Pennsylvania.

Considerations for IRAs and estate planning

Those who seek a legal professional's assistance with will preparation and estate planning in Pennsylvania may feel ready for the future, but in some cases, these planners may fail to consider the different strategies that might maximize an individual retirement account's payouts. Without clear beneficiary designations, the issues of who gets these assets and how quickly the funds must be withdrawn are out of a beneficiary's control.

Good and bad assets to keep through retirement

Pennsylvania retirees who have enough money in their savings to live comfortably for the rest of their lives may serve themselves well by focusing on ways to reduce the tax burden for their children and other loved ones when they inherit their assets. Some assets are most valuable when they are passed down as they are and others that should be converted to cash to get the most benefit from the tax code.

High net worth divorce could concern Pennsylvania residents

Going through divorce can be difficult for Pennsylvania residents, especially if those residents have a high net worth. Individuals may feel reluctant to part with considerable sums of money during the separation, and as a result, they may wish to find out more about property division for high net worth divorce. This information could help them better understand how they and their finances could be impacted by divorce.

Requesting modification to child support orders

For many Pennsylvania noncustodial parents, financial circumstances make it difficult to meet current child support obligations. A lost job, serious injury or illness and/or other drastic life changes may hinder your ability to meet your financial obligations to your children. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to request modification to child support orders to lower the payments.

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