Estate Matters
The Klenk Law Blog



Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

Montgomery County Orphans’ Court Local Rule 3.7A states that the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court of Montgomery County shall now accept all legal papers and exhibits either by traditional paper filings or Petitions for Probate and other filings may be made by electronic filing through the Clerk of Orphans’ Court of Montgomery County Electronic Filing System.

Unlike other counties, Montgomery County chose not to change its filing rules so that all filing must be electronic by a certain date. This will be helpful for older practitioners who might need some time to modify their practice to include electronic filing. Over time, though, electronic filing will make the Montgomery County system much more user friendly, speed up the process and reduce costs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

The only constant is change, and that holds especially true for filing fees. Effective immediately, the Chester County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court announced that the Commonwealth’s portion of all initial Petition filing fees will increase from $23.50 to $35.50; a 51% increase.
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Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

Normally, if a dispute regarding a Will or Trust cannot be settled between the parties, the dispute is heard by one of the Orphans’ Court Judges. These hearings can last several days, require months of preparation, may involve dozens of witnesses and experts costing the parties large sums of money. In some cases, this is the only way to settle the dispute. In other cases Mediation is a reasonable alternative to an Orphan’s Court hearing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Peter Klenk

A little preparation will greatly decrease the amount of time you will spend in the Register of Wills’ office. If you are the named executor in a will and are preparing to take the will to the Register’s office, here is what you will need: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

While the single lifestyle is usually thought of as carefree when compared to married life, when it comes to estate planning a single person’s decisions and plan may prove more complicated than for a married couple. Whether you have never been married, are divorced or have outlived your partner, estate planning is vitally important to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

If a married person dies without a will, typically all the assets are held jointly so the estate passes directly to the surviving spouse. However, if singles die without a will or other estate planning documents, real estate and bank accounts are typically held only in the single person’s name. If a single person dies without a will, or “intestate”, these assets pass under the Rules of Intestacy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

After months of picking out wedding cakes, perusing gowns and shopping for flowers, discussing estate planning can feel, to many people, like a doom and gloom conversation. However, having an estate plan to protect and care for your new spouse can not only strengthen your financial situation, it can also help your marriage.

As time passes, starting an estate plan will only become more complicated; children and grandchildren are born, assets change and family dynamics shift. Getting an early start on an estate plan for your new family will lay the groundwork for your future and can be tweaked as your family changes and grows.
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Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

Marriage is supposed to be for love and planning the wedding can be exciting, but take a few minutes and think about the less-fun aspects of your upcoming marriage such as the income tax ramifications. By spending some time thinking through various tax implications you just might have a happier…and more profitable…marriage.

Governor Chris Christie’s announcement on October 21, 2013 that he would not pursue an appeal of the New Jersey superior Court decision in Garden Stat Equality v. Dow means that same-sex marriage is here to stay in New Jersey. This means a same-sex marriage will result in the same tax treatment both with the IRS and with the New Jersey Division of Taxation. Equality is finally here, but some tax aspects of the equal treatment are advantageous and some are disadvantageous.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Peter Klenk

Marriage is supposed to be for love and planning the wedding can be exciting, but take a few minutes and think about the less-fun aspects of your upcoming marriage such as the income tax ramifications. By spending some time thinking through various tax implications you just might have a happier …and more profitable… marriage.

Governor Tom Corbett’s announcement in May of 2014 that he will not pursue an appeal of U.S. District Judge John Jones’ decision in Whitewood v. Wolf means that same-sex marriage is here to stay in Pennsylvania. This means a same-sex marriage will result in the same tax treatment both with the IRS and with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Equality is finally here, but some tax aspects of the equal treatment are advantageous and some are disadvantageous.
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Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

Often people will ask me if their assets are large enough to justify an estate plan. The simple answer is that if your life never changes, if you never get ill, if your assets never change and if your children’s lives are worry free, you might not need an estate plan. Otherwise, if your life is like the rest of ours, you will benefit form an estate plan. It might not be a complicated plan, but the chances are that even a simple estate plan will provide you great benefits.
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Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

A Will is a legal document which:

  • Specifies the beneficiaries who are to inherit your assets either outright or in trust.
  • Names a representative (an executor or personal representative) to administer the estate, pay your debts and any taxes and then to be responsible for distributing your assets to the beneficiary or to a trustee.
  • Nominates a guardian for your minor children.

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