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2020 ESTATE PLANNING 101 UPDATE


WILLS, TRUSTS, ELDER LAW AND OTHER THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER It is obviously important for you, and your family, to know that there are many estate planning choices and tools that are available to you and your family, and that there are limitations to most of them: A Will does not control some very significant assets

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Changes in Inherited IRA Rules


At the end of 2019, new laws arose that may affect people who have traditional IRAs. These regulations happened relatively quickly, but many with estate plans and trusts took notice. Specifically, the rules and language governing what happens to IRA accounts after they are inherited have been updated. Though not everyone with an IRA needs

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How Does the Secure ACT of 2020 Impact Your Retirement?


Americans are living longer and working well past the traditional retirement age of 65 years old. Approximately one-quarter of working Americans say they plan on not retiring, according to an Associated Press- NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. For many, the reason is because they cannot afford to retire, forcing them to stay in

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Charitable Trusts in Pennsylvania


Charitable trusts can be designed to avoid certain income taxes but often with frequently changing regulations; it can become difficult to maintain the tax-exempt status. As more and more banks merge and consolidate, trustees and administrators are faced with having to review older trusts and must work to integrate them in the newer systems. This

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What is a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust?


Effective estate planning positions your assets to be shielded from tax liability while remaining accessible for the assigned beneficiaries. In traditional estate planning, that means tucking your money away for future distribution to your heirs in the event of your death. Some interesting options in estate planning allow your tax-exempt and liability-protected money to be

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What is Transfer on Death Regarding Estate Planning?


Though it can be tough to talk about, death is a reality that no one can avoid. However, what can be avoided is probate court for some assets. This is the reason many people talk to their estate planning attorneys about the possibility of taking advantage of designating certain assets as transfer on death (TOD).

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Are Handwritten Wills Valid in Pennsylvania?


Handwritten wills are legal in Pennsylvania if they meet certain requirements. The main requirement is for it to be signed. Even a will written by the hand of the testator, meaning the person whose estate is being regarded in the document, is invalid without an acceptable signature. Pennsylvania state code makes no distinction about whether

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The Secure Act


The House recently passed a new bill, known as Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which will make it easier for Americans to save for retirement. The bill passed the House nearly unanimously and makes major changes to the law governing retirement savings accounts. These include: Changing the age cap

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Common Estate Planning Mistakes


No one wants to think too much about their own mortality, but estate planning can be a comfort to you and a godsend to those you leave behind. Going through the process of considering your assets and deciding how you would prefer them to be distributed after your death can provide a great sense of

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A Message to Our Customers About Coronavirus COVID-19:
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A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

We want to assure everyone that during this unprecedented and difficult time, we are still operating and will continue to meet all the legal needs of the residents of the Delaware Valley. While the Governor’s recent orders have restricted the operations of some businesses, Eckell Sparks has deployed a variety of applications and hardware that allows both our attorneys and our support staff to confer with clients remotely, provide consultations to those seeking legal advice, and continue to provide the high level of legal services to our clients as we have always done. For more than 50 years, our Firm has been a force in the Delaware Valley legal community. And by now also leveraging technology, we will continue to do so both during, and after, the current public health emergency.

So, if you need us, we are here. Are you an employer and don’t know what to do under all the new Corona-virus laws being passed in Washington? Were you injured in a car accident either before, or during, the current crisis? Call or email us. We can help. www.eckellsparks.com 610-565-3700.

Stay safe out there.