Estate Planning: True or False?

In prior newsletters I discussed in detail each of the “trilogy of estate planning documents” that our firm drafts for our clients as part of our Estate Planning package. Now, let’s have some fun to see what you know (or think you know) about Wills and Estates under Pennsylvania law.

Consider sitting down with one of the Estate Planning Attorneys at the firm to discuss your personal situation, as each is unique, and get some specific guidance so that all you have worked to achieve during your lifetime is distributed upon your death as you want it distributed.

The Answers are set forth at the bottom of the article.

1. Your assets will be distributed pursuant to a specified plan upon your death regardless of whether you have a will.
____True or ____False

2. If you have drafted a valid Will, all of your assets will pass pursuant to the Will upon your death.
____True or ____False

3. Under Pennsylvania Law, you can completely disinherit your spouse.
____True or ____False

4. Hand-written Wills are not valid in Pennsylvania.
____True or ____False

5. Owning property as tenants by the entireties (meaning by husband and wife) protects the property from the creditors of only one spouse.
____True or ____False

6. Specific bequests in a Will take priority over all other bequests.
____True or ____False

7. The amount of inheritance tax to be paid on an inheritance in Pennsylvania increases as the named beneficiary becomes more remote in blood relationship to the decedent.
____True or ____False

8. In Pennsylvania, you can lawfully disinherit a child or children.
____True or ____False

9. Under Pennsylvania law, life insurance proceeds are exempt from inheritance tax.
____True or ____False

10. Once you draft a Will, you can put it in a safe and secure location and never look at it again until the Will is removed and opened at the time of your death.
____True or ____False

(1) True; (2) False; (3) False; (4) False (but proving the Will is another matter); (5) True, generally, but there are some exceptions; (6) True; (7) True; (8) True (children beware); (9) True for life insurance but not annuities; (10) False, as circumstances change regularly.


Creative Resolutions to Wrongful Termination Cases


Mediation can be an effective way to resolve a number of legal issues, including cases in the employment context like wrongful termination matters. Parties who choose to mediate their legal matter rather than litigate it may reach an amicable resolution by coming up with creative terms like the following:

If the parties agree that termination was a mistake or that the decision to terminate was made from misinformation, they may amicably agree to continue the employment relationship. They may even agree to a certain term of employment at which point they will reconsider continuing the relationship.

Severance Package
The parties may decide parting is for the best. The employee may be able to secure a severance package that provides for a lump-sum amount to cover him or her for a certain period of time until able to find a new position.

The parties may agree for the former employer to sign a recommendation letter so that the severed employee may be more likely to secure a new position. The employee may prefer to write the letter personally to ensure positive content.

Work/Life Balance

Ways Employers Can Encourage Work/Life Balance


Today’s workforce thrives on a healthy work/life balance. Some ways employers can promote this coveted characteristic include:

Offer Exercise Space
Exercise helps reduce stress and promotes positive feelings. Having an at-work gym or providing for employees to exercise during their lunch can help employees miss fewer days of work and increase productivity.

Offer Flexible Hours
With the technology of today, many businesses do not need workers glued to a computer in the workplace in order to perform their job duties. Providing employees with the ability to work in a flexible setting can go a long way toward employee morale. Even if this is not a re-occurring option, it may be made available in case of an emergency, like a sick child.

Provide Childcare Services
Another option is to provide healthy and safe childcare services for employee’s children. This can help reduce the number of missed work days due to childcare complications.


Divorce and Family Law Legal Attorneys
When Family Law Challenges Demand Effective Solutions

Peter Russo
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David C. Dagle
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Kara W. Haggerty
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Kathleen M. Gingrich
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Megan Strait
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Four Ways to Reduce Stress within Minutes


Stress is associated with a number of serious health concerns. Use the tips to chill out when you need to:

Reach Out
Call a friend for conversation whether it is about what is stressing you or something completely different. A friend’s reassurance is often a lifeline and can help you see the situation with new clarity.

Rock Out
Play your favorite songs to shake off negative feelings. Relaxing music can also help calm your nerves.

Swap Out the Coffee
Let go of your coffee binge and swap it out for a healthier alternative. Caffeine can raise your blood pressure. Green tea has half of the amount of caffeine as coffee and provides a calming effect.

Work Out
You don’t have to go join a gym or become a triathlete. However, exercising even for a few minutes can help alleviate stress and increase endorphins to improve your mood.


Injecting Humor into Your Marketing Plan

Having humor as part of your marketing message can often endear you to your customers and make your brand more accessible. Some ways to achieve this include:

Add Small Touches
Include some humorous, fun and playful aspects in small ways that don’t overwhelm your customer. For example, a sweet message when users log off the website or signing off on communications in a creative way can add novelty to a mundane task. Adding clever leads for when a person is filling out a form can also interject a little humor.

Add Video
Add humorous videos throughout your site and at unexpected points, like if subscribers click the “unsubscribe” button. Videos appeal to many customers and are more likely to get attention than a block of text.

Hide Easter Eggs
“Easter eggs” in marketing are ironic, seemingly random items that are featured in a picture. Show customers your humor by adding these small elements of surprise.

Fields of Law

Here’s an overview of the fields of law our attorneys practice.

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5006 East Trindle Road
Suite 203
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone: 717-610-4399
Toll Free: 888-743-4470
Fax: 717-591-1756