Berman & Asbel, LLP

March 2017 Archives

Misconceptions about child custody

When Pennsylvania parents of minor children end their marriage, the issue of child custody will come up. It is often something that is decided by the courts, and there are a number of myths about how child custody works. Some of the things that people mistakenly believe are that decisions are based on gender, income or child support payments and that child custody cannot be changed.

Digital assets require valuation for estate purposes

Increasing numbers of Pennsylvania residents possess digital assets. Some of them, such as digital photographs on a smartphone, might only have sentimental value, but other forms of digital assets could be worth quite a bit of money. An estate plan should include information about how to access a digital portfolio and assign a value to the assets.

What happens when a custodial parent dies

If a Pennsylvania parent who has custody of a child dies, other members of the family may be concerned when it comes to who will get custody. Depending on the circumstances, some candidates who may become the child's guardian includes the noncustodial parent, grandparents, aunts or uncles, other family members or family friends.

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act

Pennsylvania parents who receive or are required to pay child support should be aware of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, or DPPA. Created in 1998, it is a federal child support law that targets individuals who purposely try to avoid making child support payments by relocating to another state.

Avoiding probate in Pennsylvania

Probate is designed to ensure that a person's possessions are passed on to the individuals that they were intended to go to. Although this is a good thing, the process is one that is often time consuming and can be very costly. It can take months for a will to go through probate, and this is why many people create estate plans with the purpose of avoiding the process altogether.

Divorce rates vary among different generations

Divorce is on the decline for younger adults in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, but that may not be the case for their parents and grandparents. Since the 1990s, divorces among people over 50 years of age have increased by about twice as much. In 1990, only five out of every 1,000 married people older than 50 divorced while in 2015, that number increased to 10. Divorce among people over 65 years old has increased at an even higher rate although the actual figure is lower. In 2015, six out of 1,000 people over 65 years of age got divorced, and this number was three times higher than it was in the 1990s.

Creating a functional estate plan

When creating an estate plan, it's important that people in Pennsylvania think about a variety of things, including who they want to give their assets to when they pass on. While this can be an important part of estate planning, individuals should also ensure that people named in a will won't be prevented from collecting assets and that heirs are provided these assets in the best manner possible.

How parents can help prepare children for divorce

Pennsylvania parents whose marriages are coming to an end should talk to their children together about divorce if possible. Children should be reassured that they are safe and secure, and parents should not fight in front of them. In some cases, parents might get along well enough that they can agree to share the home on a rotating basis while the children remain there.

Administration of an estate

Pennsylvania residents who have been honored with the task of administering an estate may want to know more about the requirements of the process. The personal representative who is named in the will could expect to take a number of actions in order to fulfill the duties of the role in accordance with the decedent's wishes. In the event that the instrument in question is a trust, the role of administrator would fall to the trustee.

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