Huckabee, Weiler, & Levengood, P.C.

Estate Administration and Planning Archives

Addressing concerns about credit card debt after death

With the widespread use of credit cards in everyday American life, it is natural to wonder what would happen if your parent or spouse passed away in Pennsylvania with a significant amount of credit card debt that remains unpaid. Will the credit card company come after you or other relatives for the outstanding debt? It is an understandable fear, but it is one that should not terrify you.

Possible pitfalls of setting up a payable on death account

A worrying aspect of Pennsylvania estate planning is that after you die, you have no further control over how your assets are distributed. Some people fear the uncertainty of their will going through probate and want a more direct way to leave financial assets to loved ones. This is why some Pennsylvanians opt for payable on death accounts. A POD does offer some important benefits, but be aware that using a POD account is not without possible pitfalls. 

Beneficiary designations can trump a will

Imagine you have just finished composing your last will and testament. You might believe that your will has covered everything you want to happen after you die. However, your work may be far from over. In fact, a Pennsylvania will can actually be superseded by other documents, particularly financial documents in which you have already designated a beneficiary.

What are roles of an estate executor?

Dealing with the death of a friend or family member is often accompanied by strong emotions of grief and loss. If you have been named as the administrator of an estate in Pennsylvania, you may feel even more overwhelmed. The estate executor has many crucial responsibilities in finalizing the finances and property of the deceased’s estate. Once given this important role, you must ensure that you fully understand what is being asked so that you can perform the role to the best of your ability.

Combining a trust and a will

Pennsylvania residents who wish to protect their wealth, ideals and investments for posterity face known and unknown challenges from various parties. Estate planning is often the answer to this problem. However, many individuals do not have adequate documents established to have a reasonable chance of carrying out their wishes should they become unable to do so themselves.

Secure your family's future: plan your estate today

It would be so easy to think of estate planning as a responsibility for someone older or wealthier or some other category outside of yours. The truth is, though, planning for the future is important for everyone, regardless of age or economic status. Pennsylvania families who want to take care of each other well will want to take the time to designate who gets what when the time comes. 

What is inheritance tax?

When you plan your estate and have everything in order, you probably think that once you die, there are no worries. Unfortunately, that is not true. While you may have no worries, your loved ones could be hit with an inheritance tax. It is important to understand what this is and how it works, so you can plan your estate accordingly to avoid these taxes if possible. 

What are the requirements for a legal will?

Having a will is a good idea to prevent issues after your death. It can enable you to ensure your assets are distributed the way you want them to be and to provide for your minor children. However, if your will is not properly written and created following Pennsylvania law, then it could be deemed invalid by the court, leaving your assets in the hands of the state. 

What is a power of attorney?

You may have a situation where you or a loved one needs to create a power of attorney in Pennsylvania. In this situation, it is a good idea to understand exactly what this legal document is and what it can do. According to the National Caregivers Library, a power of attorney grants a person the right to make decisions for you. 

Does a tax return have to be filed for someone who dies?

You may think that once you die, all your earthly worries are over. However, the IRS cannot let you pass on without one more tax return. More specifically, the heirs in Pennsylvania are responsible for ensuring the final taxes of a deceased person are filed. While the person who has died will not face any issues if this is not done, his or her estate may be affected.

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