Estate Matters
The Klenk Law Blog



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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Posted on Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

All your assets are included in your estate. For estate planning purposes, your estate includes all the assets that you own at your death that could be used to pay your debts. This would include things that you own in your own name or things that you own jointly with others, including real property and bank accounts. It also includes your personal property, such as jewelry, cars or furniture. Your assets may also include your qualified plans (IRAs, 401ks, etc.) and life insurance, assets that you typically would have beneficiary designations.

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Posted on Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

Rich or poor, everyone needs to designate a person to manage assets or make medical decisions in case of incapacity. No matter what your age, you could become ill or have an accident. If you were unable to pay your bills or decide which medical treatment to receive, who would have that power? Working through that decision and then signing a General Durable Power of Attorney and a Medical Power of Attorney is the bare minimum estate planning everyone should accomplish.
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Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2014 by Peter Klenk

A Will is a legal document that specifies the beneficiaries who are to inherit your assets either outright or in trust. It is a good idea to consider the possibility that any beneficiary that you name in your will might die before you. If so, you can name an alternative beneficiary who will receive the asset.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Peter Klenk

If you are the executor or administrator of a Pennsylvania estate you will need to file a Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return.

If you are not familiar with the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, this return can be rather difficult and confusing.

To help you, I have written an Article that I hope will help you to understanding how the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Works. I hope you find it useful! An Overview of the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.

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