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Central Montgomery County Estate Planning And Divorce Law Blog

What is a charitable trust?

As you construct your Pennsylvania estate plan, you may wish to consider adding one or more charitable trusts. These are great ways to provide for your favorite church, charity, school, library, animal shelter or any other nonprofit organization while providing for yourself at the same time.

As explained by, a charitable trust lets you fulfill your philanthropic goals and give yourself some benefits in addition. How? You name two beneficiaries in a charitable trust, your designated charity and a noncharitable beneficiary that can be yourself.

What makes a good co-parenting relationship?

You may be asking yourself about co-parenting if you are going through a divorce with children. Perhaps you and your future former spouse had no trouble deciding that you want to make sure the children suffer as little as possible as your marital relationship ends. You even acknowledge that each of you is a good parent, and the children need each of you in their lives as much as possible. 

The problem is you aren't sure what goes into creating a healthy co-parenting relationship. You may see stories about celebrities who go on vacation together as a family, spend the holidays together and engage in other activities as a family and as if the divorce didn't happen. Do you and your ex have to do this in order to co-parent? No, you don't. However, healthy post-divorce relationships do have certain things in common.

What is a holographic will?

In the age of computers and word processing, most wills appear only as typed and printed documents. Indeed, that is the only type of will that some states will consider valid. However, if you are making out a will in Pennsylvania, you also have the option of writing out your will by hand. The term for this is a holographic will. 

According to FindLaw, approximately half the states in the country recognize the validity of a holographic will. However, due to the difficulty involved in verifying the authenticity of a handwritten will, there are certain conditions that you must meet for it to be valid.

When custody disputes involve young children

There are all sorts of legal issues which may arise when a couple decides to split up, from disagreement and concerns surrounding the division of marital property to negative emotions associated with the divorce process. Disputes over child custody can be particularly tough for many couples, and these situations can also have a significant impact on a child's life. Moreover, many of these disputes involve young children, which can make the entire ordeal particularly emotional and difficult. Whether you recently celebrated the birth of your child or you have a toddler, it is extremely important to think about their future and carefully work through this aspect of divorce.

Often, very young children have a hard time understanding the changes that are taking place. Unlike older children, which may be able to discuss the dispute with their parents, this may be impossible with children at such a young age. Moreover, their future may be seriously affected by the outcome of a custody dispute and it is pivotal for you to keep their best interests in mind at all times as you approach and make your way through the divorce process. You could have different options in front of you and every custody dispute is different.

FAQs about Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax

States vary in what taxes they apply in relation to a person’s property upon his or her death. Some don’t have any such tax. Others have an estate tax, which is a tax on the estate as a whole. And then there are a small number of states that have an inheritance tax. This tax is on the individual inheritances distributed from the estate.

Pennsylvania falls into this last group. Today we’ll cover some common questions about the state’s inheritance tax

The first steps to take when establishing an estate plan

It is not always easy to think about the future and make plans for loved ones. You may not have an estate plan because you believe that you do not need one due to the fact you are young, healthy, not wealthy or for another reason. Perhaps you have told your children what you want to happen to your Pennsylvania estate after you pass, and you believe that is sufficient.

Estate planning is a smart step for everyone, regardless of income level, health status or the size of the estate. In a very basic sense, it is essentially giving you the right to have a say over what will happen to your money and assets after you pass, but there is much more you can accomplish with your estate plan. Life is unpredictable, and there is significant benefit in moving forward with your plan as soon as possible.

After a diagnosis may be too late to prepare for Alzheimer's

Estate planning is not something that most people want to think about since it requires them to consider their deaths. That may be uncomfortable enough, but it also requires contemplation of incapacitation by an illness or injury.

Some illnesses strike without warning, so the sooner you make the appropriate plans, the greater the chances are that everything will go smoothly if it happens. For example, waiting until after a diagnosis of Alzheimer's could prove too late to put the proper protections in place.

Are you expecting to pay alimony?

Divorce is stressful for anyone, but high-income couples have unique struggles. Fighting about money can be a source of discord in a relationship and that doesn't change when the marriage ends.

If you are the higher-earning spouse or the employed individual in a one-income household, you may be required to pay alimony but be unaware about how it works. What will paying alimony look like in Pennsylvania?

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Law Office of Margaret S. Phiambolis
1012 Bethlehem Pike
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PO Box 356
Spring House, PA 19477

Phone: 215-664-7764
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