Archive for the ‘Estate Planning and Administration’ Category

POA Act Amended to Address Digital Assets

access_time Posted on: November 22nd, 2020

Recent legislation will help Pennsylvanians to manage their digital assets safely and efficiently. In Act 72 of 2020, our Legislature amended Pennsylvania’s POA Act to specifically allow an agent under a power-of-attorney to access the principal’s electronic communications and digital assets. The amendment is modeled on language in the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, and will assist an agent in navigating the requirements of online services to access and safeguard digital accounts and assets. Our online lives have become increasing complex, and our online estates – in the form of social media accounts, email addresses and communications, passwords, and other… read more »

Great News! Remote Notary Becomes Permanent in PA

access_time Posted on: November 4th, 2020

In welcome news from Harrisburg, Governor Wolf has signed into law Act 97 of 2020, making the emergency provisions of remote on-line notary permanent.  Previously, the remote notary provisions were set to expire sixty days after the expiration of the Governor’s declared emergency regarding the Covid-19 epidemic.  Now Pennsylvanians will continue to benefit from the opportunity to sign remotely-notarized documents from the safety of their own home.   Remote notary is simple, inexpensive and safe.  The signer, notary, and witnesses all join an on-line meeting, and the signing of documents and notarial act are all completed electronically.  The process can take… read more »

Creating Trusts for Beneficiaries with Special Needs

access_time Posted on: September 21st, 2020

Join CGA and the YCEA for a Virtual Leadership Luncheon on Thursday, September 24th at 12 p.m for information on creating trusts for beneficiaries with special needs.CGA Law Firm’s experienced estate law attorney, Tim Bupp, will provide an overview of the types and applications of special needs trusts, as well as the uses of Pa ABLE accounts to assist in estate and personal planning. A special needs trust is a wonderful tool that can empower a person with disability (“PWD”) and their family, by preserving access to benefits while at the same time protecting family assets. Register to reserve your spot today: REGISTER… read more »

On-Line Notary Should be Made Permanent

access_time Posted on: September 14th, 2020

In the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and our Pennsylvania Legislature took action to assure public safety by legalizing on-line remote notary of Pennsylvania legal documents.  This foresighted action by our leaders has allowed Pennsylvanians to complete legal documents, safely and conveniently, without leaving their own home.  However, legalized remote notary is set to expire when the current declaration of emergency ends.  Our Legislature and Governor Wolf should act now to approve Senate Bill 1097, which will make remote notary permanent for all Pennsylvanians.  Remote notary began on March 25, 2020, when Governor Wolf enacted an executive order… read more »

Charitable Remainder Trusts Boost Philanthropy, Defer Taxes

access_time Posted on: July 2nd, 2020

Charitable remainder trusts or “CRTs” are not as commonly utilized as in years past. Declining income tax rates, an increasing federal estate tax exemption, and decreased impact of the charitable donation tax deduction have combined to rob the CRT of some of its effectiveness. However, for philanthropic-minded donors who own the right kind of assets, a CRT can be exactly the right tool to defer or defeat capital gain or income tax, and at the same time create a charitable legacy for the community that sets an example for the family’s next generation.    Tom and Ann are retired and want to make… read more »

Pooled and Payback Trusts: Great Options for Persons with Special Needs

access_time Posted on: June 6th, 2020

A special needs trust is a wonderful tool that can empower a person with disability (“PWD”) and their family, by preserving access to benefits while at the same time protecting family assets.  Family members can create a trust and name a trustee for their loved one so that assets will be held for their benefit and will not interfere with the means-based qualifications for Medicaid or SSI benefits, which are so important in today’s world. But what if the PWD is already in possession of the assets in question, or receives an unexpected inheritance or personal injury settlement?   Owning or receiving such… read more »

Safe, Secure Estate Planning is Available in COVID-19 Uncertainty

access_time Posted on: May 26th, 2020

As Pennsylvania transitions from Red to Yellow, significant restrictions will continue to limit our public interactions, and safety for ourselves and our loved ones requires continued separation.  However, these restrictions do not prevent you from assuring that important estate documents like Wills and powers-of-attorney are in place, updating those documents or health care directives to meet your needs, and making certain that your family and loved ones are protected.   At any time, having your Will and estate documents in place provides protection and peace of mind.  During the current emergency, the protection of good estate planning is essential.  Fortunately, our Legislature has acted… read more »

COVID-19 Update: New Act Provides PA with Safe Secure Remote-Notary Service without Leaving Home

access_time Posted on: April 24th, 2020

Article by: Attorney Timothy Bupp and Paralegal Cori Spisak Earlier this week, our Legislature acted to make Pennsylvanians safer by strengthening the use of remote notarization in the Commonwealth. Act 15 of 2020, signed by Governor Wolf on April 20, gives statutory support to the Governor’s previous Executive Orders on remote notary. Notaries can now assist with the signing, witnessing and notarization of legal documents without the signors physically appearing before the notary agent.  Act 15 also expands the use of remote notary to a wider range of documents and to signors outside of the boundaries of our Commonwealth. These protections will… read more »

COVID-19 Update: Remote Notary for Estate Planning Now Available During Emergency

access_time Posted on: April 7th, 2020

Written by Attorney Timothy J. Bupp, CELA; CGA Estate Practice Chairman The COVID-19 emergency has created unwanted stress for those of us in quarantine.  The risk of illness, particularly for older persons, has caused concern regarding whether we can get the legal help we need.   Review estate planning documents Many have taken this time to rethink their estate planning documents, including wills, health care directives, and powers of attorney.  Unfortunately, during this uncertain time when having these documents in place has never been more important, the shelter-in-place order makes it more difficult than ever to arrange the necessary meetings with professionals to prepare,… read more »

COVID-19 Update: Congress Expands Access to Retirement Accounts During Emergency

access_time Posted on: April 6th, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Congress Expands Access to Retirement Accounts During Emergency Written by Attorney Timothy J. Bupp, CELA; CGA Estate Practice Chairman Among the many provisions of the $2.2 trillion dollar CARES Act passed by Congress in March are several directed at retirement plans.  These provisions loosen the usual restrictions on qualified accounts for those suffering economically from the current emergency.           — Emergency Withdrawals.  Early withdrawals from an IRA or  qualified plan account usually trigger a ten- percent excise  penalty.  However, the CARES Act now allows Covid-related distributions from a qualified account of up to $100,000 without the penalty, so long as the participant repays the… read more »