High Swartz - Attorneys At Law LLP

Ancillary probate: What is it and how to avoid it in estate planning

by Stephanie Henrick | December 4, 2018   As the weather turns colder and thousands of northeastern “snowbirds” prepare to head south to their winter homes, thoughts turn to warm gulf breezes, Christmas lights in palm trees, and, of course, what the heck to do about that looming ancillary probate problem. Well, maybe they’re not […]

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Death, Debts and Taxes: What happens to a decedent’s debts?

August 7, 2018 By Mary R. LaSota A common concern of clients during the initial estate administration process is the debts of the decedent.  Clients often wonder, who is responsible for paying the debts?  Can the debt be forgiven? What happens if the estate does not have enough money to pay the debts? These questions […]

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Planning a Funeral

June 5, 2018 By Stephanie A. Henrick People love to make plans-the perfect wedding, that dream vacation, a comfortable retirement, the kitchen remodel.  Making plans is one of the great joys of life- except for when it comes to making plans for the end of it. Understandably, we don’t like to think about—much less make […]

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Revocable Living Trust: Not the Magic Bullet

April 11, 2018 By Mary R. LaSota So what is a revocable living trust?  A trust is a legal written agreement between various individuals:  The individuals involved include the trustmaker, who is the person that creates the trust agreement (also commonly referred to as the grantor, trustor or settlor); the trustee, who is the person […]

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Contesting a Will – Things to consider

February 23, 2018 By Donald Petrille, Jr. It’s an emotional time.  A loved one has just passed away.  You are struggling with the final arrangements and receiving the obligatory well-wishes from friends, family and acquaintances.  You take comfort in knowing that your loved one had properly planned her estate.  You believe, based on your close […]

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The Survivor Takes All… NOT ALWAYS

September 27, 2017 by Mary R. LaSota Married without a Will in Pennsylvania?  Do you think your surviving spouse will inherit everything?  Think Again.  For those assets that are not disposed of by Will, or by a beneficiary designation (i.e., 401(k), insurance proceeds, IRA) or by survivorship rights (i.e., tenancy by the entirety, joint tenancy […]

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Planning your Estate – Living Wills

May 2, 2017 By Donald Petrille, Jr. When planning your estate, it is often the best time to discuss how you would like your health care decisions to be made in the event you cannot communicate your wishes.  An advanced healthcare directive is a necessary document for any future planning. Many people broadly use the […]

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When is a Will Really a Will?

January 10, 2017 By Donald Petrille, Jr. The rules for executing a Will in Pennsylvania are simple and clear.  Unfortunately, life, and its circumstances, often are not, and these circumstances can unwittingly lead to a Will contest. Pennsylvania law is clear.  If someone signs a document which is intended to dispose of property or other […]

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5 Tips for a Successful Estate Planning Meeting

November 3, 2016 While it is a matter often ignored for many years, preparing a Will, Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive is  very important for any adult. In order to have a successful initial estate planning meeting, here are some questions to think about: Why do I need an estate plan? An estate […]

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Estate Planning Tips for Unmarried Couples

January 20, 2016   As society has become more accepting of all types of couples and families it is becoming more common for couples to choose to live together in property they’ve purchased jointly before marriage, or even in lieu of marriage. That being said, the law has not quite caught up, and unmarried couples […]

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Probate and Pennsylvania inheritance tax

by Stephanie Henrick | January 14, 2016   Bennie’s sister, Daisy, died with a Will, leaving everything to Bennie and naming him as Executor. She owned a house in her name where she and Bennie lived together, all her bank accounts were jointly owned with Bennie, and Bennie is named as designated beneficiary on her […]

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