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Four Things Your Spouse Should Know Before You Die

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Feb 02, 2024 | 0 Comments

It is normal for married couples to share almost every aspect of their lives with each other. But when it comes to death, even the closest couples might become tight-lipped about certain topics. As uncomfortable as it might be to discuss subjects like burial arrangements and remarriage, they should be broached as part of creating a comprehensive estate plan. Seemingly mundane details, such as the location of important documents and contact information, should also be addressed.

Celebrating International LEGO Day

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Jan 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

January 28 is International LEGO day. Since the 1940s, people have been creating their own worlds, brick by brick, with LEGOs. With an estate plan, you can help your loved ones build a great future. Make your estate plan as specific as you want by providing step-by-step instructions for how you want them to honor your legacy. Or give them the resources to bring their vision to life, no strings attached. An estate plan—like LEGOs—makes a great gift that can be enjoyed by generations to come. 

Testamentary Trusts: The Best of Both Worlds

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Jan 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

A testamentary trust provides an alternative to a direct bequest under a Will. You may choose to direct in your Will that all accounts and property owned by you in your sole name without beneficiary designations be transferred to a trust upon your death. Unlike a revocable living trust, the testamentary trust is created at your death, and ownership of your accounts and property are transferred to the trust through the probate process.

We All Need a Yearly Checkup: Your Estate Plan Does Too

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Dec 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

it is important for your estate plan to get a regular check up to address changes in your life circumstances or in the law to ensure that optimal plans are in place to provide for you and your family's future needs before any problems arise. Like an undetected medical condition, an out-of-date estate plan can have devastating, unintended consequences.

3 Examples of When an Irrevocable Trust Can—and Should—Be Modified

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Dec 13, 2023 | 0 Comments

Despite its name, irrevocable trusts can, and sometimes should, be modified? Changes in laws, family, trustees, and finances can frustrate the trustmaker’s original intent when the trust was created. Or, sometimes, an error in the trust document is identified. When this happens, it is wise to consider changing the trust, even if that trust is irrevocable.

Should You Share Your Estate Planning Details With Loved Ones?

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Dec 09, 2023 | 0 Comments

When you decide to create a comprehensive estate plan, consider whether to tell your loved ones about your plan. Estate planning can be a complex and sensitive matter, so your choice may depend on your unique relationships with loved ones and your family dynamics. Sharing your estate plan with your loved ones can compromise the privacy of your financial and personal information. Some people prefer to keep these matters private, especially when it comes to distributions of significant amounts of money or property. There are advantages and disadvantages to revealing private information about your estate plan. You can choose to communicate details relevant to specific individuals or offer a broader explanation to everyone involved.

Child Custody FAQs

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Dec 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

Parents often contact me with questions about child custody and how the process works in Pennsylvania. We understand why there are so many questions, too, because there's a lot of misinformation about child custody. We are here to dispel the misinformation, clarify misunderstandings, and provide the right information so you can make smart, informed decisions about your child and your unique situation.

George Washington Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Nov 23, 2023 | 0 Comments

On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation designating Thursday, November 26 as a national day of thanks. In his proclamation, Washington declared that the necessity for such a day sprung from the Almighty's care of Americans prior to the Revolution, assistance to them ...

Why You Want to Avoid Intestacy

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Nov 11, 2023 | 0 Comments

About two out of three Americans will die without a will. This is known as dying intestate. While the reasons for not having a will vary, the end result is the same for everyone: they do not get to choose who receives their property when they die. Instead, their money and property are distribute...

How Far in Advance Can I Begin My Estate Planning?

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Oct 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

You can create your estate plan at any time, but many people choose to begin the process sooner rather than later. Why? Because you never know when life-changing medical or financial emergencies can strike that will require someone else to manage your affairs during your lifetime.

Can An Estate Executor Be Removed?

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Apr 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

Every now and then I am consulted about a situation involving dissatisfaction with how an Estate is being administered. Sometimes its the Executor who is being challenged and sometimes its a beneficiary who does not agree with something that the Executor is doing.  Let me start out by saying tha...

Challenging a Will

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Apr 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

You may have heard that in Pennsylvania, words written on a napkin can be considered a Will. Crazy, right? Well actually that can be true. In Pennsylvania, the requirements for a document to be a valid Will are pretty limited. First, the testator (the person who is making the Will), must have tes...

3 Things to Consider When Creating a Will

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Apr 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

When preparing your Will, there are 3 main things that you want to consider: 1) What it is you are looking to accomplish?; 2)  How do you want your Estate to be distributed?; and 3) Who is going to handle the administration of your Estate? This article with some valuable information to help you answer these three questions.

Will My Estate Plan Work?

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Jan 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

Preparing your Will and other Estate Planning documents is a great first step. However, before you put the documents away, there are some additional steps you should take to ensure that your plans will be carried out the way you envisioned when you pass away.

How To Retake Your Prior Name If You Are Divorcing

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Aug 12, 2021 | 1 Comment

If you changed your name to your spouse's last name when you were married, Pennsylvania law allows you to retake your prior surname if you are getting divorce. This case be done any time after the divorce action is filed. 54 Pa. C.S. §704. The process is pretty simple. You complete a form called ...

Estate Planning

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Apr 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

Looking for something productive to do while you are quarantined?  You might consider creating or updating your will.  Wills make things easier for the people you care about since Wills make your desires known. Do you have a Will? If not, contact me for an easy questionnaire form to get start...

Drafting a Will – Per Stirpes v. Per Capita

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Aug 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

When preparing your Will, one of the most important parts will be you plan for distributing your estate – the assets that you own at the time or your death. It's a good idea to have several different options for your estate plan. In other words, you should have a plan for what will happen to your...

Legal Custody v. Physical Custody

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Aug 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

One question that often comes up when I am talking with clients about their custody situation is the difference between legal and physical custody. It is important to understand these terms because they play an important role in the custody process. Legal Custody Legal custody establishes who...

Parenting Apps as an Aid to Communication in Custody Cases

Posted by Ted Hoppe | Jul 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

One of the issues that separated parents with children often face is how best to communicate with each other regarding the children.  Best case is that parents are able to talk with each other and also trust each other regarding exchanging information. However, that is not always the case. But ...

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