Author Archive

Estate Planning for Farm Families Part 1: Entities

access_time Posted on: May 7th, 2024

From Attorney Tim Bupp, chair of the CGA Law Firm Estate Law practice group. In this biweekly column, Attorney Tim Bupp shares with you lessons and perspectives from his twenty-five years as an estate planner with CGA Law Firm. Farm owners and farm families face unique challenges related to their estate planning.  The focus is often on ensuring that the next-generation farmer or farmers can stay in farming and that the non-farming family members are treated fairly and equitably while the parents ensure that their future holds a safe and secure retirement.  These often competing goals can create tension in… read more »

Is a Prepaid Funeral Right for You?

access_time Posted on: April 25th, 2024

From Attorney Tim Bupp, chair of the CGA Law Firm Estate Law practice group. In this biweekly column, Attorney Tim Bupp shares with you lessons and perspectives from his twenty-five years as an estate planner with CGA Law Firm. Is a prepaid funeral the right thing? I do not sell funeral plans, but I recognize them as an important issue related to estate plans. Funerals are complicated, expensive, and deserve our attention. Who makes funeral decisions? By time-honored caselaw in Pennsylvania, the responsibility of planning a funeral falls to your next of kin. While you could appoint someone in your Will to… read more »

Power of Attorney (POA) – The Centerpiece of the Estate Plan

access_time Posted on: April 2nd, 2024

From Attorney Tim Bupp, chair of the CGA Law Firm Estate Law practice group. In this biweekly column, Attorney Tim Bupp shares with you lessons and perspectives from his twenty-five years as an estate planner with CGA Law Firm. Everyone has heard of a Last Will and Testament and knows that a Will is an important piece of an estate plan. But is it the most important piece? Let’s discuss the power of attorney – an underappreciated but vital part of an estate plan. A power of attorney is a document where you appoint some trusted individual to take any… read more »

LIVING TRUSTS – Are they worth the extra cost?

access_time Posted on: March 13th, 2024

From Attorney Tim Bupp, chair of the CGA Law Firm Estate Law section. In this biweekly column, Attorney Tim Bupp shares with you lessons and perspectives from his twenty-five years as an estate planner with CGA Law Firm. I am asked about the potential benefits of living trusts nearly every day. My answer: in specific situations, a living trust can provide clarity and benefit to your estate plan. However, as with nearly every other estate planning tool, one size does not fit all; not everyone will benefit from the extra effort and expense that go into creating and maintaining such… read more »

You Should Talk to Your Family About Their Estate Plan This Holiday Season

access_time Posted on: December 5th, 2023

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s likely you’ll see your parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members in the next few weeks. In addition to food, songs, and other merrymaking, this is also the perfect time to speak with your family about more serious topics, such as their estate plan. How To Bring Up The Topic: Let your family member/s know you’d like to discuss their estate plan during a less-hectic part of the holidays. During your conversation, ask how up-to-date their documents are, and if changes or updates need to be made. These could include new additions… read more »

A New Taxpayer Benefit from SECURE 2.0: Converting a 529 Plan to a Roth IRA

access_time Posted on: September 22nd, 2023

The recent SECURE 2.0 Act enacted by Congress has introduced a series of new strategies to help reduce burdens on taxpayers. CGA Law Firm has previously reviewed the SECURE 2.0 Act in general and highlighted some of its advantages to taxpayers. Today we will highlight a beneficial move that can help you and your college-bound children or grandchildren benefit more from their dollars.  Utilizing a 529 Plan – a tax-advantaged college savings plan under IRC Section 529 – has long been a solid strategy for tax avoidance. A donor can set up a plan for college-bound family members, usually depositing… read more »

Five (or Six!) Mistakes to Avoid in Your Estate Planning

access_time Posted on: August 23rd, 2023

Estate planning offers protection and security for you and your family. Having well-crafted documents can help ensure your loved ones will be equipped to handle your estate matters smoothly without any disagreements or uncertainties. Nevertheless, numerous estate plans contain avoidable errors that only serve to complicate matters or even spark conflicts. Here is a list of common mistakes to avoid. 1. Identify your beneficiaries correctly. Too often, problems arise when a bequest to “John Smith” or “my niece Mary” goes astray. Our world is full of John Smiths and Marys, and problems can arise if bequests are identified too vaguely. Problems also arise if… read more »

The Importance of Estate Planning Before Walking Down the Aisle

access_time Posted on: August 7th, 2023

Your wedding is a time of bliss and endless possibilities for a bright future together. While planning for your perfect day, don’t forget to protect those you love, as you start your new life together. Marriage is the right time to ensure your estate documents are in order. As you prepare for your future, take the time to meet with your estate attorney. Putting into place your vital documents like Wills, powers-of-attorneys, and health care directives will help provide you with the peace of mind that you will need for your perfect day. A Will is an essential document that… read more »

New Numbers for a New Year

access_time Posted on: January 20th, 2023

Happy New Year! The new year brings to us new numbers to keep in mind for municipal decision-making in 2023: Bid advertising requirements. In 2023, the threshold requiring advertisement of a municipal bid will increase to $22,500, up from $21,900 in 2022. The amount requiring collection of multiple telephone quotes for municipal work will increase to $12,200, up from $11,800 in 2022. Municipal action below the threshold of $12,200 will not require competitive solicitation. While these numbers are up, they have not increased at pace with the 8.2% increase in the consumer price index; Pennsylvania statute prevents the increase of these bidding requirements from exceeding… read more »

Estate Planning – More Important Now Than Ever

access_time Posted on: July 6th, 2022

In today’s world, protecting your family with solid estate planning is more essential than ever. The recent pandemic reminds us that having good estate documents in place is necessary. A sturdy Will can assure that your assets pass as you desire and your instructions will be observed. A Durable Power of Attorney empowers another to help when someone is injured, incapacitated, or frail. A Health Care Directive assures that medical services will be administered as you desire. Our legal team is current with recent changes in the law and can help you keep your estate plan up to date. Having… read more »