Posts Tagged ‘estate planning’

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 »

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. 1.        What is a power of attorney? A power of attorney is a document where you… 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 »

Business & Corporate Law Guidance: Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)

access_time Posted on: December 12th, 2023

“Caveat emptor” was frequently applied to commercial transactions in the past. Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase that translates to “let the buyer beware”. It was a warning to those buying, primarily goods, that they should do their own research and ask pointed questions of a seller before making a purchase. Modern laws concerning the purchase and sale of goods often provide protection in that regard. However, investigating and asking questions remains valuable, even when obtaining services. These days, many legal services are available online. But they are not as helpful or inexpensive as they might seem. For example, you… 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 »

Powers of Attorney and Determining Capacity

access_time Posted on: October 2nd, 2023

Adults are presumed to have capacity, but does everyone truly have it? Capacity is defined as the “ability to effectively communicate one’s wishes.” Capacity, however, is not a diagnosis. It is well settled in Pennsylvania case law that “…mere weakness of intellect resulting from sickness or old age is not legal grounds to set aside an executed contract if sufficient intelligence remains to comprehend the nature and character of the transaction.” Cardinal v. Kindred Healthcare, Inc., 155 A.3d 46, 50 (Pa. Super. 2017). There are several things that may “tip off” families that an individual would benefit from a capacity… 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 »