Berman & Asbel, LLP

September 2016 Archives

Types of trusts in Pennsylvania

Trusts are very flexible and may be set up to accomplish a variety of different purposes. They may be revocable trusts, which can be changed during a person's lifetime, or irrevocable trusts, which cannot be changed after they are established. Both types help by avoiding probate court after death, allowing for a smoother passing of assets to the beneficiaries.

Child custody and relationships that involve domestic violence

Pennsylvania residents might assume that the court system would favor a non-abusive parent when determining custody in a divorce case that involves domestic violence issues. However, this assumption is not always true. There are rare occasions when an abusive parent might be awarded custody because of the emotional state of the other parent, who could be dealing with difficult issues like depression that derive from being abused.

Estate planning errors to avoid

Although most Pennsylvania residents work hard to provide for themselves and their families throughout their lives, they may neglect to plan for after they are gone. The most common estate planning mistake Americans make is to not have a will. According to a 2016 survey, 64 percent of respondents said that they didn't have a will. One common reason given was a belief that it wasn't necessarily.

Estate concerns for blended families

Making estate planning decisions early is generally a wise choice as long as people review these documents periodically throughout the years to see if any changes are needed. Those with blended families in Pennsylvania should also consider how to divide an estate so that each spouse's heirs receive what is meant for them. This involves addressing smaller possessions as well as big assets like houses and bank accounts.

Estate creators can control beneficiary rights with trusts

Pennsylvanians who want to create inheritances for their loved ones may be wary of giving beneficiaries full control over valuable properties. Whether these feelings are motivated by reasons of perceived irresponsibility or other factors, estate creators can employ trust structures to help manage inheritance assets based on predetermined plans.

Determining the value of a business during a divorce

Pennsylvania couples who are contemplating a divorce may be curious as to how they will deal with a business that is owned by one or both of the parties. This will become important during the property division stage, whether it is dealt with through informal negotiations or handled by a judge.

Advantages and disadvantages of a QPRT

People in Pennsylvania who are concerned about estate tax might consider a qualified personal residence trust. With a QPRT, an individual can arrange for a house to pass to a beneficiary as a gift after a specified period of time. The value of the home will be locked in at a lower rate. A QPRT can lower or nullify gift or estate taxes.

Valuing a business in a divorce case

If a Pennsylvania couple is getting a divorce and one or both spouses owns a business, then they might need to figure out how to divide that asset. In order to do this, it is necessary to find out how much the business is worth. The first step is for the couple to consider is how accurate a valuation they need and how much money and time they are willing to spend on getting those results.

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