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Merion Station, PA Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Report: Inheritance causes tension in 25 percent of families; here is how to avoid that


There’s no such thing as a good time for a family fight, but one of the worst is after a death. In a recent Ameriprise Financial survey of 2,700 people, 25 percent said an inheritance caused disagreement or tension within the family.

Here’s how to keep the peace.

Put your wishes in writing: 

The most important strategy for avoiding a family feud at your death is to have proper estate planning documents in place that were drafted by an estate planning attorney. A will documents your intentions with regards to your assets and appoints fiduciaries who will carry out your wishes.


Read more . . .


Friday, February 3, 2017

Estate & GST Tax Repeal Legislation Introduced in Congress


On January 24, 2017 Congresswoman Kristi Noem introduced H.R. 631 in the House. H.R.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act becomes law.


On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The new act allows first party special needs trusts to be established by mentally competent individuals with disabilities for their own benefit.

Prior to this, first party special needs trusts could only be established for disabled persons by their parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or a Court, necessitating in many cases the expense and delay of a Court application or family involvement to establish these trusts.


Read more . . .


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Child Support for Children with Special Needs

If you pay or receive child support for a child with special needs, there are facts you need to know to ensure that your child is protected:

For a Minor Child

A disabled person’s assets and income determine Medicaid eligibility. To receive Medicaid assistance, your child cannot have assets (such as money in a savings or checking account) of more than $2,000 as of July 1, 2016. If your child is under age 18, one-third of the child support is not counted, but the other two-thirds counts as unearned income. After the first $20, any countable unearned income you receive on your child’s behalf causes a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your child’s SSI benefit.  This means that support payments may  reduce or eliminate your child’s eligibility for Medicaid assistance and Social Security payments!


Read more . . .


Monday, September 12, 2016

Post-nuptial agreements and Estate Planning


A post-nuptial agreement is, as its name suggests, a marital agreement entered into after a couple is married. Similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, a post-nuptial agreement creates an outline of how certain property and finances will be divided in the event of divorce or death.

For a postnuptial agreement to be valid in Pennsylvania, both parties must willingly agree to its terms and consideration must be exchanged. As with a pre-nuptial agreement, it is imperative that both parties retain separate legal counsel and fully disclose assets to ensure they are making an informed decision.

Financial matters can be a source of struggle between couples, particularly when one spouse is wealthier than the other.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Help Your College-Aged Child in a Medical Emergency

You have finished unpacking your child and setting up their college dorm room. You kiss them goodbye as they start off on the next big stage of their life. While your "baby" is now a grown up, many parents still pay for many expenses such as health insurance premiums.  If you wanted to pay a bill, imagine the confusion and frustration when the person on the other end of the phone would not even talk to you about your child’s medical bill, let alone allow you to pay it. 


Read more . . .


Monday, August 29, 2016

How the 2016 Election May Affect Estate Planning


The results of the 2016 presidential and congressional races could hold significant sway over the future estate planning laws. 

If Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins the general election, the Policy and Taxation Group anticipates that many of her policies will be in line with the current budget proposals of the Obama administration. Currently the estate tax exemption is $5.45 million for a single person and $10.9 million for a married couple.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Estate Planning During a Divorce


If you are going through a divorce, it is absolutely necessary to review your estate plan.  

Here are some things to consider when you are considering divorce or separation, and after your divorce is final:

PRIOR TO FINALIZING YOUR DIVORCE

1) If you do not have an estate plan: 

If a person dies without having their estate planning in order, Pennsylvania’s law of intestate succession will govern who inherits from your estate estate.

If you are currently separated or in the process of getting a divorce and you do not have an estate plan, your wishes are in the most danger of not being honored.  Pennsylvania law states that those who are married (and, with a few exceptions, a person will be considered married until a divorce is final), the surviving spouse will receive all or a portion of the decedent’s estate.  This not only means that your ex will unfairly inherit but if you have children, that less money will be going to them.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 1, 2016

College-bound children need financial and health care documents

It’s the big day. You’ve taught your child everything she knows from how to tie a knot to how to knot a tie.

She’s an adult ready to head to college. She’s ready to make her own schedule, juggle a job and classes and start a new adventure.

Only you find out that if one of those adventures winds up in the hospital, legally you’re not allowed to help her.

What happened?

In most states privacy laws prevent parents from making healthcare or financial decisions for their adult children. Even if you are paying for your adult child’s tuition and health insurance, legally your hands are tied.


Read more . . .


Monday, July 25, 2016

Don't risk your accounts with joint title!


 As clients age, it is common for them to add a child to their bank account so that bills are paid or in anticipation of incapacity or to avoid probate. A problem may arise if that child owes a debt, lien or maybe part of a lawsuit. 

Why is that?

Creditors can legally go after accounts when you are a joint owner. Once money is deposited in a joint account, it belongs to both account holders equally, regardless of who deposited the money. 

If the parent added the child for estate planning purposes, such as avoiding probate or planning for disability, there two better options.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Estate Planning for Young Professionals


For many, estate planning can often be placed into a box that belongs solely to individuals who are either of an advanced age or have significant assets. In reality, however, the practical aspect of having an estate plan in place is a benefit for any individual who is willing to pursue it. Whether a loved one is, or you yourself are, a young professional, there are certain decisions that can be made to protect your future.

Having an executed will is the best way to avoid intestate succession – when someone dies without a will, a court will distribute property according to state law, which may not match the wishes of the deceased. Having a say in the future of your possessions and interests can be incredibly empowering, particularly for a young individual.


Read more . . .


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Located in Merion Station, PA, Sallen Law assists clients with estate planning matters throughout the Philadelphia Main Line area including but not limited to Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County. Attorney Sallen is also licensed to practice in the state of NJ and serves Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County.



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