Gifts of Assets

Each individual is permitted to gift $15,000 in assets each year without tax implication. $15,000 is the annual cap for federal gift tax purposes. There is not a gift tax in Pennsylvania. Even individuals who gift above this yearly threshold, may not need to pay taxes. Amounts in excess of the yearly limit can be […]

Foreign Adoption Decree

A foreign adoption decree is a decree issued from another country regarding adoption that took place abroad. If you have adopted a child from abroad, you can take steps to register that foreign adoption here in the United States. Pennsylvania discusses the applicable steps in 23 Pa. C.S. Section 2908. The adoptive parents can file […]

Foreign Adoption

If you have adopted a child from abroad, there are several steps to take to finalize the adoption domestically. A re-adoption being filed in the United States can serve a few purposes. It can allow for an adoption decree that is in English. It can be required for immigration purposes. It may also be helpful […]

Father’s Consent to Adoption

Pursuant to 23 Pa. C.S. Section 2711(a), a consent must be signed by the following individuals where applicable: (1) the child(ren) being adopted if over 12 years of age; (2) the spouse of the adopting parent if that spouse is not also a petitioner; (3) the natural parent(s) of any minor child(ren) being adopted; (4) […]

Family Settlement Agreement

The family settlement agreement is a document that can be filed at the conclusion of administration of an estate wherein the beneficiaries accept their distributions and release the executor or administrator from any liability for their handling of the estate. Often, an informal accounting will accompany the settlement agreement so all interested parties can review […]

What Happens to the Family Pet?

Many people consider their pets as members of the family and accordingly, when the family breaks up, custody of the pets can become an issue. While pets may be considered members of the family from the perspective of the owners, the courts in Pennsylvania deal with pets the same way as they deal with other […]

Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

Once you have identified your marital property, the next step is reaching an equitable distribution. Equitable distribution in Pennsylvania is not an automatic 50/50 split. Instead, there are thirteen (13) factors to be considered by the court in determining the appropriate division of a marital property. A few of the factors include the length of […]

Divorce Costs

There are a number of costs involved in a divorce action. The total amount of expenses will vary depending on the nature of the divorce. For example, a simple divorce with no assets or children will have different costs than a case where there are minor children and assets to divide. With children, custody and […]

Dividing Investment Accounts

Investment accounts that are opened or funded during the marriage will be considered marital property and up for division in the context of a divorce. Investment accounts present an additional consideration when it comes to division due to fluctuating value based on the market. The balance in these accounts is subject to various gains and […]

Debts of Estate

Prior to any distributions of the assets of an estate, the debts of the estate should be reviewed. Section 3392 if Title 20 discusses the priority for payment of the debts of an estate. First, the costs of administration should be covered. These costs can include filing fees for the probate process, attorney fees, advertisement […]