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October 2013 Archives

Planning to maximize an inheritance for your kids

Every family has a different set of goals when it comes to estate planning. For some, making an estate plan is simply a necessary part of organizing their affairs and it is unnecessary to get too in-depth with complex plans or methods to minimize tax. For others, the goal of estate planning might be to help set up the next generation or grandchildren to aid with a specific cost, such as buying a first home or paying for college.

Questions of vulnerability arise in undue influence trial

There are a lot of safeguards in the estate planning process to ensure that the plans that go into effect for distributing a person’s estate are their own. This is because our legal system places emphasis on honoring the wishes of the deceased as much as possible, even in situations where it is difficult to figure out what their wishes were. At the same time we also impose some basic standards for executing a valid will and making valid changes as a way to reduce the likelihood of fraud or undue influence

How do you value assets with no price tag?

One of the big issues that comes up in estate planning is tax planning. Minimizing tax liability and preserving assets for the next generation is an important goal that many Pennsylvania families take into account when creating a plan. Tax planning means taking deductions at the right time, transferring assets carefully, and having a good idea of the total value of the estate or a prediction of its likely value in the future. Valuing assets is harder than it sounds, especially when it comes to unique items like art, family heirlooms, or real estate, which have fluctuating values based on market conditions.

Family, charities, caregivers reach deal in dispute over will

The major stakeholders in a dispute over heiress Huguette Clark's last will and testament have reached a settlement, ending the conflict and leaving a substantial sum to charities that benefit the arts. The conflict originally arose after Ms. Clark passed away and two very dfiferent wills executed around the same time were found. The first version left much of her estate to distant relatives with whom she had little or no contact. The second version left gifts to her hospital, caretakers, lawyer, accountant, and established an arts charity. 

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