David Frees

Contact Information:

120 Gay Street
Phoenixville, PA 19460

Phone: 610.933.8069
dfrees@utbf.com

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David M. Frees, III

Mr. Frees heads the Firm’s Trust, Estate and Wealth Preservation Section, and Co-chairs the Elder Law Solutions section of the Firm. Mr. Frees serves, or has served, on the boards of multiple trust companies and trust committees. He has appeared on National Public Radio (NPR), and is a frequent speaker in the areas of trust and estate planning and administration and communication and presentation skills. Mr. Frees has been awarded the designation of Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in Philadelphia Magazine in multiple years (by Super Lawyers©, a Thomson Reuters Company). Mr. Frees was named as a “Top Lawyer” in Trusts, Wills and Estates by Main Line Today Magazine.

 

Practice Areas

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D. (1985)
    • magna cum laude
  • Dickinson College (1982)
    • summa cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (1985)
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey (1985)
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Memberships

  • Chester County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Chester County Community Foundation
    • Past Chair, Past Board of Directors
  • Phoenixville Hospital
    • Past Board of Directors
  • Phoenixville Federal Bank and Trust
    • Past Board of Directors
    • Trust and Audit Committee
  • Sterling Trust
    • Board of Directors

Presentations and Publications

  • Author, The Language of Parenting: Building Great Family Relationships At All Ages
  • Author, Einstein’s Business
  • Author, Dream Inc.
  • Instructor, Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxation of Trust Seminar for the American Society of Financial Planners at The American College
  • Presenter and Instructor, private seminar by NBI, American Bar Association, Chester County Bar Association, to instruct attorneys, executors and administrators in fiduciary obligations
  • Instructor, Estate Administration and Estate Planning programs for lawyers (CLE), Pennsylvania Bar Institute
  • Author, Persuasion to Influence
  • Author, The Language of Parenting (Kindle Edition)

Latest From David Frees

22

Jul

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Attorneys Named to Chester County’s Top Lawyers List for 2024

We are thrilled to announce that 21 of our attorneys have been named to the Daily Local News’ Reader’s Choice Top Lawyers of Chester County list for 2024! This is the fourth consecutive year firm attorneys have received this honor.

We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to the following attorneys for being recognized …

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20

May

Four Essential Estate Planning Questions Retired Couples Should Address Today To Avoid Problems Later

As you plan for and then enter retirement, getting your financial affairs in order is crucial. However, many couples put off essential estate planning conversations (about wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and trusts) until it’s too late.

Don’t make that mistake – addressing these four essential questions with your spouse today can provide invaluable …

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17

May

Sixteen Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Attorneys Selected To The 2024 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers List

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees is proud to announce that eleven firm attorneys have been selected to the 2024 Super Lawyers list and five firm attorneys have been selected to the 2024 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas …

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5

Sep

The Impact of AI (Artificial Intelligence and Large Language Models) on Business in the Next Two Years

David Frees recently attended a conference on AI, and in particular, what is changing, how it is being used (either alone or in conjunction with virtual robots – BOTS), and the implications for our businesses, and our ability to serve our clients in the best possible ways.

Since many of you own or …

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17

Aug

13 Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Lawyers Recognized In The 2024 Editions Of The Best Lawyers In America® And The Best Lawyers In America: Ones To Watch®

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees is proud to have ten lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® and three in The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America 2024 editions. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

Best Lawyers recognitions are compiled …

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7

Aug

Fourteen Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Attorneys Named to Main Line Today’s 2023 Top Lawyers List

We are pleased to announce that fourteen Unruh Turner Burke & Frees attorneys have been recognized on Main Line Today’s distinguished “2023 Top Lawyers” list!

Main Line Today, a prominent regional magazine spotlighting the essence of Philadelphia’s western suburbs, annually curates this prestigious list featuring outstanding legal professionals. The selection process involves nominations from peers …

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21

Jul

Every Attorney At Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Named To The Daily Local News 2023 Top Lawyers List For The Second Consecutive Year

Daily Local News readers voted for Chester County’s Top Lawyers in the annual Top Lawyers Readers’ Choice Poll earlier this year. Readers voted online for their favorite lawyers in various practice areas.

This is the second year that every lawyer at the firm has been recognized and the third consecutive year that firm attorneys have …

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22

May

A Well-Designed Estate Plan Protects Your Assets and Your Legacy

As a team of very experienced trust, estate, and wealth preservation lawyers, paralegals and client service representatives, we have helped over ten thousand clients to design estate plans that protect their assets and their heirs from divorces, lawsuits and other business creditors, ensure their wishes are carried out (on their terms), and provide peace of …

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19

May

Fifteen Attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Recognized by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® for 2023

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (“UTBF”) is pleased to announce that eleven attorneys have been selected to the 2023 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list and four firm attorneys have been selected to the 2023 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice …

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27

Mar

How To Take Advantage Of An Economic Downturn

We recently published two great articles on how to take advantage of an economic downturn, bad stock market, or even a recession as part of your estate planning and your asset protection planning for your children and grandchildren.

Click here to get access to Part 1

Click here to get access …

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28

Nov

UTBF Receives National Ranking for Land Use and Zoning Law by U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms in America”, and Ranks Regionally in Multiple Practice Areas

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF) was honored to be named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms in America” again for 2023. The firm earned a National “Tier 1” ranking in Land Use and Zoning Law for the second year in a row; a Metropolitan “Tier 1” ranking for Philadelphia …

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31

Aug

Eleven UTBF Attorneys Recognized By Best Lawyers In America®

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF) is pleased to announce that eleven UTBF attorneys have been recognized in the 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch™.

For more than 40 years, Best Lawyers has been recognized as a reliable and unbiased resource to identify top legal professionals. …

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25

Jul

Every Attorney at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Receives the Daily Local 2022 Top Lawyers Reader’s Choice Award

Chester County has voted and the results are in. Every attorney at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF), one of Chester County, Pennsylvania’s largest law firms, has been voted a Top Lawyer for 2022 by Daily Local readers. Unruh Turner Burke & Frees’ attorneys were recognized in the following practice areas:

Brian D. Boreman

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18

Jul

Protecting Your Heirs From Federal Estate Tax When One Spouse Dies

The IRS has extended the time to file a “Portability Return” from 2 years to 5 years.

If you are a surviving spouse this is vitally important to protecting your heirs from possible Federal estate tax at your death!

To find out more about portability and what that means for your estate, please click …

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10

Jun

Eleven UTBF Attorneys Recognized by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in 2022

Ten attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees have been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list for 2022, in addition to an attorney being named among the 2022 Pennsylvania Rising Stars. The Rising Stars list includes attorneys who are 40 years old or younger or who have been practicing law for 10 years or …

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10

Nov

UTBF Listed Among U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms in America”

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF) was honored to be named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms in America” again for 2022. The firm earned a National “Tier 1” ranking in Land Use and Zoning Law; a Metropolitan “Tier 1” ranking for Philadelphia in three practice areas: Land Use …

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9

Sep

UTBF Attorneys Recognized By Best Lawyers In America®

WEST CHESTER, PA ─ Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF) is pleased to announce that ten UTBF attorneys have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America.

In the area of Real Estate Law, partners William J. Burke, III, Theodore F. Claypoole and Donald C. Turner were named to the Best Lawyers …

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28

May

Twelve UTBF Attorneys Recognized by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in 2021

Twelve attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees have been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list for 2021. Additionally, three attorneys were named among the 2021 Pennsylvania Rising Stars. The Rising Stars list includes attorneys who are 40 years old or younger or who have been practicing law for 10 years or less.

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23

Dec

UTBF Listed Among U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms In America”

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF) was named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms in America” for 2021. The firm earned a Metropolitan “Tier 1” ranking for Philadelphia in Land Use and Zoning Law; a National “Tier 2” ranking in Land Use and Zoning Law; and a Metropolitan “Tier 3” …

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3

Sep

Seven UTBF Attorneys Recognized By Best Lawyers in America

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF) is pleased to announce that six of our partners are listed among 2021’s Best Lawyers in America®. This year’s honorees include William J. Burke, III and Theodore F. Claypoole for Real Estate Law, David M. Frees, III for Trusts and Estates, Amanda J. Sundquist and …

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31

Jul

Fifteen Attorneys at UTBF Named Top Lawyers by Main Line Today Magazine

We are proud to announce that fifteen attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees were named to the 2020 “Top Lawyers” list by Main Line Today magazine. Main Line Today is a regional magazine focusing on the communities, traditions and lifestyles of Philadelphia’s western suburbs. Attorneys are nominated by their peers and vetted through …

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9

Jun

Ten UTBF Attorneys Named Among 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Honorees

Eight attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees have been recognized by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for 2020. Additionally, two attorneys were named among the 2020 Pennsylvania Rising Stars. The Rising Stars list includes attorneys who are 40 years old or younger or who have been practicing law for 10 years or less.

The UTBF attorneys …

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13

Sep

Three UTBF Partners Recognized by Best Lawyers

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees (UTBF) is pleased to announce that three of our partners are listed among 2020’s The Best Lawyers in America. This year’s honorees include David M. Frees, III for Trusts and Estates Law in Phoenixville, PA, as well as Andrew D.H. Rau and Ross A. Unruh for …

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23

Jul

Every Partner at UTBF Named a Top Lawyer by Main Line Today Magazine

For the second year in a row, every partner at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees was named to the 2019 “Top Lawyers” list by Main Line Today magazine. Attorneys are nominated by their peers and vetted through the magazine’s editorial process. Sixteen attorneys at the firm, including all partners, were named to the list in …

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13

May

Nine UTBF Attorneys Named Among 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Honorees

Eight of UTBF’s lawyers were named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Lists for 2019. Included among this year’s Pennsylvania Super Lawyers are:

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8

Mar

Are You Named As An Executor Or Trustee When A Spouse Or Parent Dies OR Have You Appointed One Or More Under Your Will And/Or Trust?

And if so, do you know…

What it means to be an executor or trustee?

How to do the job right and what deadlines are important or vital (yes you can be sued as either an executor or trustee)?

The risks, dangers, and most common mistakes that you have to avoid?

How much you can …

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17

Sep

Do Your Will And Power Of Attorney Cover Digital Assets?

What are “digital assets” (like email and social media accounts) and what happens to access if you’re incapacitated or deceased?

Find out what you need to know and do here.

READ MORE

27

Jul

Every Partner at UTBF Named a 2018 Top Lawyer

The results are in…

Every partner in our firm was named among the 2018 “Top Lawyers”

We are pleased to announce that 16 attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees, including all partners, are named to Main Line Today’s “Top Lawyers” list for 2018.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Stephen P. Lagoy*

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22

May

Ten UTBF Attorneys Recognized By Super Lawyers® This Year

UTBF is pleased to announce that nearly half of the firm’s attorneys were included among this year’s “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” lists.

This year’s “Super Lawyers” include:

Brian D. Boreman William J. Burke, III John K. Fiorillo David M. Frees, III Stephen P. Lagoy Andrew D.H. Rau READ MORE

31

Oct

[Time Sensitive] Open Enrollment Reminder For Medicare Eligible Clients

The Medicare 2017 open enrollment period started October 15 and continues through December 7. During this open enrollment period, Medicare eligible Americans can review their Medicare coverage and make changes for the coming year (2018).

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18

May

Nearly Half of UTBF’s Attorneys Recognized by Super Lawyers in 2017

Eight of the 19 attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees have been recognized by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for 2017. Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters rating service and publication, selects outstanding attorneys by utilizing a multi-phase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. Only 5 percent of Pennsylvania attorneys receive the …

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17

Nov

November is National Family Caregivers Month

By: David M. Frees, III

November is National Family Caregivers Month. More Americans are now able to live independently and with dignity thanks in a large part to family members who act as caregivers. Looking after a family member can be challenging, so states and local agencies connect individuals …

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8

Nov

What You Can and Should Learn From Celebrity Estate Planning Disasters

By: David M. Frees, III

Most of us think that celebrities must be smart.  They’re often wealthy (or at least seem to be), they have a great lifestyle (or again, so it seems), they have stable and uncomplicated personal lives (ok, not so much), and they’re brilliant commentators on political …

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15

Aug

Six Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Attorneys Recognized as “2016 Top Lawyers” by Main Line Today Magazine

Six Unruh Turner Burke & Frees attorneys have been named to the 2016 Top Lawyers list by Main Line Today Magazine. The annual list of top local attorneys, as chosen by their peers, appeared in the August 2016 issue of Main Line Today. Please join us in congratulating:

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10

Nov

Have you recently filed a deed? Be aware of this latest scam!

A change in the titling of a deed could be beneficial or necessary in the course of updating your estate planning. For example, sometimes you deed a house into a revocable trust to avoid probate or an irrevocable trust to protect it from a nursing home. But, after the deed is filed, the information is …

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24

Aug

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees Attorneys Named to “2015 Top Lawyers” List by Main Line Today Magazine

Five attorneys at Unruh Turner Burke & Frees were named to the 2015 Top Lawyers list by Main Line Today Magazine. The annual list of top local attorneys, as chosen by their peers, appeared in the August 2015 issue. Brian Boreman was recognized in the area of labor law. Mr. Boreman concentrates his practice …

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23

Dec

UTBF Partner David Frees and his Wife Robin Help to Keep the Ben Franklin Legacy Alive

In 1789, just one year before he died, Benjamin Franklin set up an endowment fund called the Benjamin Franklin Trust. In 1995 it was transferred in part to the Chester County Community Foundation. Each year, this 200+ year-old endowment fund makes grants to programs and initiatives that Franklin himself had championed: fire companies, libraries and …

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27

Sep

Family Business Owner?

A Few Questions for Planning For Family Business Succession

Some family conversations are too important to put off

ð       1. Do you have an estate plan including a will, power of attorney and a living will?

ð       2. Do they specifically include powers to deal directly with real estate and closely held business investments?

ð       …

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25

Sep

Selecting a Trustee- What Matters?

Who Do You Trust?

Choosing a trustee requires an appropriate balance between kinship or friendship, expertise and technical knowledge.

As a trust attorney one challenging aspect of my practice is the very personal decision by a client about choosing a trustee or trustees (and their substitutes) for his or her many types of trusts.

There …

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20

Sep

Estate Planning- Is It A Family Affair?

At some point your surviving spouse or partner or even your children will assume responsibility for investing the family’s wealth.

Your children’s portfolio may be in the form of a personal trust owned by the children, or due to illness or death the entirety of the family’s invested assets. Children should be prepared to take …

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21

Mar

Reasons Why Your Trust Should Contain a Residuary Clause

By creating a trust, you are stating your wishes as to how you would like your assets and possessions distributed. Many trusts have a series of specific gifts. However, you should be sure that your trust also contains a residuary clause to best protect the distribution of your assets. Please click here, for more …

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19

Mar

Including a Residuary Clause Within Your Will

A residuary clause disposes of any property

or assets that were not previously accounted

for in the will. Please click here, to see why it is

important to include a residuary clause within your

will.

 

READ MORE

15

Feb

Are You the Executor of an Insolvent Estate? What Happens Now?

What Legal Fees and Debts Get Paid First?

Pennsylvania law provides an order in which certain expenses, taxes, and claims need to be paid when an estate does not have sufficient funds. Please Click Here,  to learn about the order in which these fees and debts need to be paid.

 

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13

Feb

Current Pennsylvania Estate Cases- Promissory Note Forgiven

A recent Pennsylvania case involved an insolvent estate (this means that the assets of an estate are insufficient to pay its debts, taxes, and other miscellaneous expenses), there was a promissory note owed to the descendant by his son. The question arises, can a direction in the will to forgive this debt be valid since …

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12

Feb

Will Your Estate or Trust Administration be Affected by the New Medicare Surtax in 2013?

What Does This New 2013 Surtax Mean to You?

Some trusts and estates will be subject to the additional 3,8% Medicare Surtax in 2013. Please Click Here, to learn more about the Medicare Surtax and if it will affect your estate or trust administration.

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8

Feb

What Do You Need to Know When Naming a Beneficiary?

A “beneficiary” is a person or entity that you have chosen to recieve the value of your estate, retirement plans, or insurance policies. Please click here, for more information regarding who, what, and how to choose your beneficiaries.

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5

Feb

Determine What Court Has Authority Over an Adult Guardianship?

Determining Jurisdiction for an Incapacitated Person?

Figuring out how and where to file for guardianship for an incapacitated person can be very confusing. Therefore, many states have adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act to try and solve the confusion. Click here, for more information about where and how to file for guardianship.

For more …

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28

Jan

Where Is The Best Place To Store Your Will?

What Are The Smartest and Safest Places To Store A Will?

There are many different locations that you can store your last will and testament. Please click here, for suggestions as to what are the smartest and safest locations for your will.

 For more information regarding estate planning documents please contact Unruh, Turner, Burke …

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23

Jan

How to Gain Access of A Decedents Online Accounts Once They Have Died?

What Happens To Your Online Assets Once You Die??

Since, the trend of “going green” or being digitally social continues to spread, the issue of what happens to your online accounts is becoming more popular.

Please click here, for more information regarding your online accounts and how to gain access of a decedent’s account.

David …

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19

Jan

Trust, Estate & Wealth Preservation Chair – David M Frees III on Leadership for Non Profits

Attorney, speaker & author David M. Frees III presents leadership training program for the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation.

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18

Jan

The 2013 Estate and Gift Tax Changes and You – Strategies and Info on The New Laws for 2013 and Beyond

The new estate and gift tax rules and what you need to consider in your...

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19

Nov

Accepting Executor’s Fee vs. Denying Executor’s Fees

Executors May Want to Rethink Accepting their Executor’s Fee

Many executors will receive money for the administrative work they have carried out. However, it may be in the executors best interest to waive their fee for tax saving purposes. For more information as to to when and why executors may want to waive their fee click …

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15

Nov

Important information regarding Pre-Nuptial Agreements as well as your Estate Plan

Pre-Nuptial agreements is an estate planning tool   which can be used to protect your assets.

If you are going to be getting married or about to enter into a second marriage click here for information on how pre-nuptial agreements can help protect your assets. 

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12

Nov

Why Joint Accounts Can Cause Family Disputes

How can joint accounts cause family feuds?

When joint accounts do not align with your will, trust, or estate planning family feuds can occur. For more information as to how joint accounts cause family disputes click here.

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9

Nov

Does an Executor Have to Sell Real Estate when the Seller Dies?

The use of specific performance may force an executor to sell real estate once the seller has died

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5

Nov

Updating Your Will or Trust- Can Estate Plans “Go Out of Warranty”

changes in executors, family circumstances, life insurance, and other financial factors can require and update to your estate planning

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17

Oct

7 Questions Your Will and Trust Lawyer Should Ask You

We are conditioned to ask our advisers numerous question. But discover the questions that they should be asking you.

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17

Oct

Forbes Examines How Baby Boomers Are Spending and Planning For Retirement and The Future

Forbes magazine's review of the ways in which the economy is changing baby boomer spending and planning.

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24

Sep

Malvern Estate Attorney Explains Impact of Move on Living Will

A Malvern Estate Attorney Explains Impact of a Move on Living Will

 A move to a new state can impact your estate plan in a number of ways related to the distribution of your assets after your death. For more information on moving to a new state, see our article covering how moving …

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19

Sep

Malvern Estate Attorney Explains Impact of Moving on Power of Attorney

A Malvern Estate Attorney Explains Impact of Move on Power of Attorney

 When you move to a new state, the laws of that new state may necessitate changes to your estate plan. See our article covering how your estate plan may change when moving to a new state [Insert Link to Moving to …

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17

Sep

Domestic Asset Protection Trust Explained by Malvern Trust Lawyer

What is a Malvern domestic asset protection trust?

Knowing what a domestic asset protection trust is can be an important part of estate planning, especially for people with significant assets that they want to protect from creditors and protect from a potential future divorce.  Using a Malvern trust lawyer can ease …

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11

Sep

Changing Your Estate Plan With a Malvern Estate Attorney

Malvern Estate Attorney Discusses Implications of Moving on Estate Plan 

Having an estate plan is very important to making sure your estate passes smoothly, and with minimal taxes, to your heirs upon your death. However, you may not devote much time thinking about the plan once it is created, considering it has already …

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9

Sep

Government Confiscates A Pennsylvania Family’s $80 Million Dollar Inheritance

Can the government confiscate a family inheritance of $80 million dollars?

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8

Sep

Pennsylvania Inheritance of $80 Million Dollars Confiscated By Government

This is a very unusual case in which a family drilled the safe deposit box of their father to find some rare gold coins.

Expecting to enjoy this inheritance or at the worst, to split the value with the government, they were surprised to find that the government confiscated the inheritance and has now won …

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6

Sep

Video Report on Mediation of Will, Estate Contests To Save Money and Time

Mediation can save time, expenses, legal fees and costs while helping to limit the damage done to family relationships through estate disputes.

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3

Sep

Does Mediation Mean Binding Decisions? | Contact Phoenixville Attorney

Are decisions made through mediation legally binding?

For the most part, decisions made through mediation are not legally binding. Mediation is used to help both parties come to a mutual agreement on a particular issue. Of course, if a legal contract is drawn and signed after an agreement has been reached, the contract …

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1

Sep

Video Reports On How To Use Mediation in Family Trust and Estate and Business Disputes

Mediator and Mediation trainer David Frees, JD discusses how and why families should consider mediation rather than litigation of trust, estate, and family business disputes

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29

Aug

How One Becomes Power of Attorney | Contact Phoenixville Attorney

Can I assume power of attorney if I am a beneficiary in my parents’ will?

No, you cannot automatically assume power of attorney just because you are a beneficiary in your parents’ will. If your parents are still alive, they need to be the ones to appoint someone as power of attorney …

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27

Aug

Special Needs Trust: Why is it used? Contact An Attorney

What is a special needs trust?

A special needs trust, also called a supplemental needs trust, is used to provide mentally or physically disabled beneficiaries with money without them losing their eligibility for public assistance (such as disability, Social Security, etc.). A special needs trust created by an  attorney helps provide …

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22

Aug

Avoiding Probate when Settling an Estate by Designating Beneficiaries

Three Types of Estate Assets a Beneficiary Can Protect From Probate

One of the most common ways to help your beneficiaries avoid probate when settling an estate after your death is to name beneficiaries either for specific assets or your will in general. The process of naming death beneficiaries may be done within …

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20

Aug

Malvern Family Limited Partnership, Estate Planning, Asset Protection

When would I use a family limited partnership in Malvern?

A family limited partnership (FLP) is a type of asset protection many families use when they have established a family-owned business and wish to keep it organized among the various partners upon the absence of a controlling partner. If you have …

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17

Aug

Where Will Mediation Process Happen, Phoenixville Mediation Attorney

Where will the medication process take place in Phoenixville?

You may think that there’s little to be concerned with when it comes to picking the location of the mediation process but that opinion may change when you find yourself in unfavorable areas. A good mediator and Phoenixville mediation attorney will be …

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15

Aug

Medical Assistance Estate Planning Pennsylvania | Elder Lawyer Malvern

When do I know to assist in my elderly relative’s medical care in Pennsylvania?

Assisting in your elderly relative’s medical care not only is a question of when, but also how. Even if you want to assist with decisions when your loved one falls ill or becomes incapacitated, you first have to be …

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13

Aug

Elderly Relavtive’s Health Care Pennsylvania | Chester county Attorney

Who has the right to choose my elderly relative’s health care in Pennsylvania?

If your loved one has already completed his or her estate planning, the person named in the estate as an agent has the right to choose your elderly relative’s health care in Pennsylvania. In some cases, this can be …

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12

Aug

Think Outside The Will – What Else Makes A Great Estate Plan For Pa Residents? Part 1

When you think about doing the right thing and taking care of your spouse, children, friends or loved ones, you probably say to yourself: "I've really got to do a will." But there are....

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25

Jun

Tips for a Successful Mediation

By: David M. Frees III & Steve Lagoy

Once you have been acquainted with the basics of mediation, you can help to facilitate a settlement by applying some simple principles to the negotiation process.

Although the mediator’s job is to guide the discussion and help formulate unique resolutions based on each person’s …

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24

Jun

Are You Responsible for Your Parents’ Nursing Home Bills? In Pennsylvania The answers Is Now Bad News For Many Families

Whether You Are Affluent or of Modest Means – You Now Have A New Concern in Pennsylvania – Being Responsible For Your Parents Nursing Home Bills and Expenses 

By:  David M. Frees III, JD

Many people have asked through the years whether or not …

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14

Jun

How should we go about choosing a mediator for estate disputes in Pennsylvania?

By: David M. Frees III & Steve Lagoy

When you are choosing a mediator in Pennsylvania, be sure to retain the services of one who specializes in whatever the focus of your dispute is, be it trust, estate, or family business.

It’s preferable to choose a mediator who is both a proven expert …

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14

Jun

What is mediation of a Pennsylvania trust or estate dispute?

By: David M. Frees III & Steve Lagoy

It’s no secret that the next few years will see a flurry of complex trust and estate disputes in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. As estates become larger and more complex, and as more and more people try to plan their own estates with do-it-yourself …

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14

Jun

Who uses mediation to solve a will dispute in Pennsylvania?

By: David M. Frees III & Steve Lagoy

A benefit of mediation is that control of the resolution remains in the hands of the conflicting parties. Since mediators can only offer neutral suggestions based on the facts provided, and because those suggestions are non-binding, parties can opt whether or not to implement those …

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14

Jun

Why do family businesses often use mediator services when they have disagreements or legal disputes in Pennsylvania?

By: David M. Frees III & Steve Lagoy

Pennsylvania estate disputes can cause significant fallout in a family business and some disputes are rooted in such a way that they lend themselves toward formal litigation. Litigation, of course, can drain assets and resources from the business and involved parties and, in many cases, …

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31

May

Creating Trusts for Children in a Will | Pennsylvania Trust Attorney

Question:

Can I create trusts for my children under my will in Pennsylvania?

Answer:

Not all trusts are created equally, so although you can leave trusts for your children in your will (known as a testamentary trust), you should do so with extreme care and preferably with the assistance of a dedicated Pennsylvania trust attorney. …

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30

May

Electing Bank or Trust Company Executor of Your Will in Pennsylvania

Question:

Can a bank or trust company act as executor of my will in Pennsylvania?

Answer:

A bank or trust company can act as the executor of your will and estate in Pennsylvania (or as your successor trustee, in the case of a trust), although there are several factors you should take into consideration before …

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29

May

Choosing an Executor in Pennsylvania | Executor Compensation and Fees

Consider Compensation When Choosing an Executor in Pennsylvania

When choosing an executor for your Pennsylvania estate, keep in mind that the executor is entitled to compensation for the work that they do on behalf of the administration of the estate.

Executor Fees in PA Generally Include: 2.5% of the assets of the estate that …

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28

May

Co-Fiduciaries as Executors of Pennsylvania Estate or Guardianship

Co-Fiduciaries as the Executors of an Estate, Trust, or Guardianship in Pennsylvania

In some instances, you may have difficulty selecting an executor of your estate or successor trustee for your trust or guardianship, or you may want to have a family member involved but still have the assurance of utilizing a bank or trust company. …

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27

May

Pennsylvania Trusts: Different Types for Spouses and Children

5 Different Types of Trusts for Pennsylvania Spouses and Children  

There are a number of different trust law options you can pursue in Pennsylvania if you want to leave your children their inheritance with additional protections.

A bypass or family trust (alternatively known as a “credit shelter” trust) enables you to leave a …

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18

May

What is the executor’s job? Understanding Pennsylvania Probate Process

What is the executor’s job? Understanding Pennsylvania probate process

Once selected, an estate executor’s job is to oversee and manage the administration of a decedent’s estate.

The time and effort of performing this task to completion varies based on the:

size and complexity of the estate; presence of a will; and number of …

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17

May

Executor Responsibilities in Pennsylvania Probate | Estate Planning

Executor Responsibilities in Pennsylvania Probate

In Pennsylvania probate, an executor is essentially responsible for:

finalizing someone’s financial and legal affairs; protecting property and assets; ensuring that debts and taxes are paid; and transferring the remainder to those who are entitled to it.  

Although it is not legally required that executors have a financial …

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17

May

Pennsylvania Probate and Executor Responsibilities | Estate Planning

Executor Responsibilities in Pennsylvania Probate

After the owner of an estate dies, an executor is appointed or selected to manage certain responsibilities of the estate, and such executor responsibilities can include:

setting up an estate bank account that will hold money owed to the Testator, such as paychecks or stock dividends; utilizing estate funds to …

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15

May

Contesting a Will or Estate Plan | Pennsylvania Estate Planning

When Creating Your Will, Get Help to Avoid Contestation in Pennsylvania

When you are creating a will, you might not be thinking about whether or not one of your beneficiaries will try to contest it, but the fact of the matter is that this happens quite often.

Sometimes it’s a matter of a beneficiary …

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17

Apr

2011 Gift Tax Returns Are Due Now!

2011 Gift Tax Returns Or Extensions Are Due Now

By:  David M Frees III, JD Chairman – Trust Estates and Wealth Preservation

Failure to file a gift tax return can subject a tax payer or their family to serious problems both during lifetime and at death (when the IRS often detects the failure to file).

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10

Apr

2011 Gift Tax Returns Are Due Now!

Gifts to children and grandchildren 1n 2011 may require you to file a gift tax return...

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25

Feb

Estate Planning For Pennsylvania Blended Families

PA estate and trust attorney David Frees reviews the estate planning issues facing blended families

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23

Feb

How Mediation Can Save Family Wealth and Family Relationships in Pa.

By: David M. Frees III, JD Estate and Trust Dispute Mediation

Estate disputes occur when the heirs of a decedent cannot agree on the division of property or assets of the decedent’s estate, either because no will was left, because the will did not incorporate or cover all assets or property being disputed, or because …

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13

Feb

Answers To The Most Important Power of Attorney Questions

All the answers you need about medical and financial power of attorney

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31

Jan

A Failed Family Limited Partnership

Family Limited Partnerships

A family limited partnership can clearly be a great estate and business-planning tool but if it is drafted or implemented incorrectly it could cost you money and headaches.  Family Limited Partnerships allow families to own and operate a business or series of investments as part of an executor estate plan …

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26

Jan

Mitt Romney’s Tax Return and Estate Planning Strategies of The Rich and Famous That Matter To You

The Romney’s 2010 tax return (which is quite  lengthy and can be viewed in it’s entirety by clicking Mitt Romney’s Tax Return) gives us a few hints about trust and estate planning techniques of the wealthy that may have relevance for you – even if your net worth is closer to 1 million dollars than 150 million.

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18

Jan

Your Worst Nightmare…… A Bad Executor

Picking an executor is a critical part of any sophisticated or even simple and effective estate plan. Having the wrong executor or someone that does not fully understand your wishes can wreak havoc on your estate’s administration and more importantly on the execution of your wishes. In fact, other than the decision to create and …

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1

Dec

Estate Tax Portability: Why More People Than Ever Will File Estate Tax Returns in 2011 and 2012

If Your Spouse Dies in 2011 or 2012 You May Think That There Is No Estate Tax Return Due

You Might Right And You Might Be Surprised To Know You Should Still File

Most people now know, that if they die during the calendar year 2011 or 2012 that there is a five million dollar …

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12

Nov

Pennsylvania Trustee Liability for Investments – Important Law if You Own Your Own Company

Is Being An Executor or Trustee More Dangerous Than You Think? Yes! Even your own kids might sue you.

By: David M. Frees III JD

In many cases it might be. But, if you own your own business you might want to pay particular attention to this case.

If you’re a business owner who …

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11

Nov

Who Gets What When You Die Without A Will? A Review of Pennsylvania Intestacy

When a person dies without a will, (intestate), his or her property will go through a court supervised intestate process.

That process is a set of inflexible rules created by state law that dictates how the deceased person’s property and assets are distributed.  Only a will, or a non probate beneficiary designation (a combination of …

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4

Oct

Updating A Will and Getting An Estate Plan – The Quick Quiz

Need to get a will or to update your will, trust or estate planning? Want to know if your plan is still good? Take this quiz...

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29

Sep

Estate Planning and Elder Law Events – Pick a Topic and Get Your Invitation

Want to attend one or more of our client appreciation events?

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26

Sep

New Video Keeps Pennsylvania Executors Out Of Court and Out of Trouble

If you have been appointed as an executor of an estate you need the resources to stay out of trouble, to avoid liability, and to answer the many questions...

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24

Sep

If You’re Going To Make A Statement In Your Will – Don’t Mumble And Get The Right Lawyer

Want Your Estate Plan To Really Work ? Most Plans Don’t.

If You Have A Clear Desire To Leave A Legacy and To Protect Your Heirs You Need Your Estate Plan or Will To Be Clear, Loud, and Effective.

If You Want Yours To Actually Work, Then Here Are The Must Know Strategies and …

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12

Sep

Is It A “Probate Asset” Or Not?

The Answer May Not Always Be What You Expect

Simply “Probate” means at death an estate (the deceased person’s property) is administered and supervised by the court, often called probate court. The court will make sure the Last Will is administered correctly and if there is no will state law is followed by a court …

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28

Aug

Estate Planning and Wills – It Has To Be Easy

Your questions about estate planning and how and why to do it are answered

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18

Aug

Have You Chosen a Guardian for Your Minor Children?

Guardianship allows a person to manage the affairs and assert the rights of another person who is unable to do these things.

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7

Aug

Estate Administration 101

For Executors and Maybe Trustees

Losing a loved one is hard. But if you’re an executor or trustee hopefully this step-by-step guide to Estate Administration will ease the burden of knowing the business of what to do when a close family member or friend dies.

Whether or not your loved one has a will or …

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6

Aug

Is Your Will Out of Date? Want Peace of Mind?

In just 20 Minutes You Can Have A Free Will Review and Make Sure That Your Old Will, Trust, and Power of Attorney Aren’t Out of Date or Invalid

Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees Offers Free Will Reviews This Fall

Have you been wondering if that old will, trust, or …

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15

Jul

How Do I Avoid The Federal Estate Tax For My Heirs?

The federal estate tax has been in the news a lot this past year. Whether you like it or not it is here for at least the next couple of years.

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30

Jun

What is an Estate Planning Memo and What MUST it Include?

26

Jun

Which Side Are You On? Is Marcellus Shale Drilling Good For You?

There have been a series of New York Times stories on Marcellus Shale and “fracking” and how gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has polluted rivers or ground water.

But, many Pennsylvania regulators like Commissioner John Hanger of the Department of Environmental Protection does not think “fracking” is so bad. A testing done …

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20

Jun

Mediating Family Estate and Inheritance Disputes

What happens if you and your brother or sister inherit property together?

Do you work well with your brother or sister?

Find out how to mediate costly will and inheritance disputes by reading our article Mediation of Will and Inheritance Disputes.

Mediation is a great tool to resolve estate or real estate matters involving …

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19

Jun

Don't Smoke In Your Shower?

Smoking In Your Shower? And Other Silly Marcellus Shale Stories

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12

Jun

Mediation of Will and Inheritance Disputes

How Well Do You Work With Your Brother Or Sister?

 

Are you inheriting a home or Pennsylvania real estate with your brother or sister?

Whether you answered yes or no imagine you and your brother inherit a parcel of land in Pennsylvania. Your brother thinks the parcel is worth more than the local …

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11

Jun

How To Avoid Family Drama

11

Jun

The Solution to Losing Your Keys Is

The Lost Keys Program at Unruh, Turner, Burke, and Frees is a simple solution to the inevitable problem of losing your keys. Visit or call us today to find out about this special program we have for our clients and our clients families.

* To find out about this free program for …

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29

May

Can Trust Lawyers Be Trusted?

Have you ever left a meeting with a lawyer more puzzled than when you arrived?

Well, one reason is that many lawyers including “trust” and “probate” lawyers use language they are familiar with and use on a daily basis but forget that most of us do not know that language or, for that …

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23

May

Revoke Your Prior Will

Reasons to Update and Clauses You Probably Need but Might Not Have

Any good will should have a revocation clause. A will should not be thought of as set in stone. Times and circumstances change. You should review and change your will on a regular basis in order to keep it current. You may not …

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15

May

U.S. Rep Ross Wants To Kill The Estate Tax

Ross along with a small pro- agriculture group of legislatures wants to eliminate the federal estate tax. In the past year there has been a surge of enthusiasm for the repeal of the federal estate tax as congress tried to figure out what do for 2011 and 2012.

This past  December  congress approved legislation that …

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8

May

Do You Have a Trust and Is It the Right Trust?

If you answered no you need to read our trust guide How to Find the Right Trust for You to see what you are missing.

There are trusts that help you and your estate save money in taxes. There are trusts that help you care for a loved one with special …

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29

Apr

Why Do People Hate Most Trust Lawyers?

 

Lawyers, like doctors and other professionals, habitually use language that is practically impossible for many of us to understand. They use language familiar to them but sometimes forget that it may be unfamiliar to you if you do not work in their field of trust and estate law.

So how are you supposed to …

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24

Apr

What Type Of Trust Is Right For You?

Have you heard other people talk about trusts or have you thought about incorporating a trust into your estate plan or asset protection planning but are not sure where to start.

We have written this trust guide, How To Find the Right Trust For You, which  explains  many of the most …

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17

Apr

Marcellus Shale – Neutral and Reliable Sources of Information

Has Marcellus shale changed the issues faced by your family?

Do you want or need better sources of neutral information on the issues you now face?

Families with mountain property, vacation homes, and hunting camps located in regions rich in marcellus shale gas deposits are now faced many difficult decisions ranging from:

* How will …

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17

Apr

Pennsylvania Resident? Property Taxes Too High? Need A Property Tax Appeal?

Property Tax Appeals Can Lower Taxes of Over Valued Homes and Commercial Real Estate.

In this environment, many of our clients in Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery Counties believe that their homes are now overvalued for real estate tax purposes.

If you feel that you’re being taxed on a value that’s simply …

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17

Apr

Should You Delay Your Estate Planning Until The Law Changes Again?

Delaying Estate Planing For Law Changes?  Does That Make Sense?

DO You Delay Other Acts of Love and Responsibility?

Well, you’d expect lawyers who make a living advising affluent clients on issues of estate planning to be biased.

They’ll tell you to do it now. Why wait?

Well, as it turns …

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15

Apr

What is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is a way to provide your disabled loved one

without the assets affecting their government eligibility into

programs like Medicaid and Social Security Disability.

Find out if a Special Needs Trust is right for you.

Read the entire Report on Pennsylvania Special Needs Trusts/ Supplemental Needs Trust here.

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8

Apr

Lawyer Trust Language Decoded

Many professions have their own technical language.  For an example, think about the last time you or a family member was hospitalized. Did anyone use expressions, drug names, or therapies that simply had no meaning to you? Were you ever confused?

Do you remember the words the doctor or nurses used that left your brow …

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1

Apr

Can I Create My Own Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust So I am Not Disqualified?

Yes.

If you are disabled and receive benefits and a personal injury award

and or inheritance and you do not want to be disqualified from

government benefits a “self-settled” trust can help. A  “self –settled” trust

is frequently created by individuals who have become disabled as a result

of an accident or medical malpractice and later receive a personal …

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27

Mar

The Deadline For Gift Tax Returns? April 15th or October 15th?

You Must File The Gift Tax Return or Extension for Gifts In 2010 By April 15th 2011

If you made a gift to a child or grandchild in 2010 you must file the return or an extension by April 15th.

Once the extension is filed, you have until October to …

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26

Mar

Income Taxes, Agents, and Preparers Oh My!

Are you thinking about having your return done for you? A Brief Income Tax Checklist for those hiring or changing their tax preparer

For many clients, the thought of doing your own income tax return is tantamount to doing your own tooth extraction.

You probably could, but who wants to. And, the likelihood of making …

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18

Mar

Did You Pick The Wrong Trustee For Your Spouse Kids or Grandchildren?

Did You Pick The Wrong Trustee Under Your Will or Revocable Trust?

A Quick Guide To Fixing This Mistake And Updating That Old Will Or Trust

First, What is a Trustee?

A trustee is named in the trust to manage and oversee the trust.A trustee

has the ability to make decisions regarding the assets …

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18

Mar

How Important is a Trustee in a Special Needs Trust?

The trustee of any trust is an important position.

In special needs trusts the trustee has

sole discretion to decide what the

beneficiary, your disabled loved one,

needs and what can be distributed

under state laws or federal regulations

without disqualifying the beneficiary.

They may spend quite a bit of time at the job in order …

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6

Mar

Why Your College Student Needs To Do A Power Of Attorney Over Spring Break!

Spring Break is almost here and your college age students

will be homeward bound.   Utilize this time to get your son

or daughter a power of attorney.

Why?

If you do not have a power of attorney for your child who is 18

or older you do not have the ability to make financial or …

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4

Mar

Who Will Take Care of Your Disabled Child When You are Gone?

Special Needs and Supplemental Needs Trusts Are The Vital Tool To Protect Our Loved Ones When We No Longer Can

A special needs trust or supplemental needs trust is a way to provide

for your disabled child or disabled loved ones quality of life.

The great thing about this type of trust is your child …

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18

Feb

Avoiding Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes Part Ten of Ten

How To Avoid The Most common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing To Do The Job Of Trustee

by: Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

This is the last in our series of brief articles about the most common  mistakes trustees make and how to avoid them. It is important to understand the language of …

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11

Feb

Avoiding Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes Part Nine

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing To Understand The Role Of Multiple Trustees

by: Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

One very big mistake trustees make is failing to understand their role as a trustee among trustees. It is important to understand what a trustee is and what duties …

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4

Feb

Avoiding Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes Part Eight

 

 

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing To File Tax Returns Or To Seek Professional Assistance

by: Pennylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

Too many trustees have been sued for failing to properly administer or invest trust assets under Pennsylvania law.

Pennsylvania has recently become more highly regulated from …

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28

Jan

Avoiding Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes Part Seven

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing to Properly Reform, Amend, or Terminate

by: David M. Frees III

As a trustee do you need to have all the beneficiaries consent to amend the trust?

How does the trust I am managing terminate?

Many Pennsylvania trustees fail to reform, amend, …

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17

Jan

Can Estate Planning or Will Make Your Spouse Happy?

Many spouses express fear and grave concerns that they would not know what to do if a spouse or loved one dies.  They are terrified when you don’t have a will, trust, or estate plan and a list of people and instructions to guide them.

And, if you are the primary bread winner and/or have …

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15

Jan

Want Estate Planning That Works Under The New Federal Estate Tax? It’s Time Upgrade To First Class or Business Class Estate Planning(TM)

Are you are a business owner or professional, a real estate investor or entrepreneur who has been putting off your estate planning because it’s too time consuming, costly, or complicated?

Have you been promising a spouse, children or other loved ones that you’re going to “get around to” this but just never do?

Has it …

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14

Jan

Pennsylvania Attorney David Frees Attends Heckerling Institue Estate Planning Program

Think Your Estate Is Now Protected From Federal Estate Tax? According To The Tax Lawyers Studying The New Law – Think Again

The Heckerling Institute is one of the premier estate planning programs and “think tanks”dedicated to effective estate planning.  The lawyers appearing  at the institute and those in attendance focus on planning to minimize …

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12

Jan

What’s Important In Wills Under The New Estate Tax Law? It’s Not The Same Things Any More

Want Your Will or Trust To Work Better? The New Federal Estate Tax Law Changes What’s Important

Now You and Your Lawyer  Will Want To Pay Attention To Different Things and You Can Do More Than Ever Before

Under the federal estate tax law in effect since the 1980s, the emphasis for wills and trusts …

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29

Dec

Tax Free Gifting to Children and Grandchildren and The End of the Year 2010

Gifting before the end of 2010 and into 2011. How much, when and how to make tax free gifts.

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26

Dec

Tax Free Gifting to Children and Grandchildren and The End of the Year 2010

Gifting before the end of 2010 and into 2011. How much, when and how to make tax free gifts.

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21

Dec

The Federal Estate Tax and Pennsylvania Residents

Congress Acts On Federal Estate Taxes The New Estate Tax Law: Problems, Solutions and What You Need To Know

Last night, the House of Representatives passed a bill extending the Bush era tax cuts which were about to expire, and, re-enacting a federal estate tax. And, while the new law looks favorable on it’s face, …

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7

Dec

Estate Tax Bill Fails – End of Year Gifting and Planning a Nightmare

End of year gifting just got a whole lot more complicated. Congressional actions on the federal estate tax...

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6

Dec

Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes And How To Avoid Them Part Six

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing To Communicate Properly

by: Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

You have heard that communication is vital in marriage and communication is important with your children but communication is also critical in trust administration.

As a trustee to avoid unnecesary hostility from family and beneficiaries …

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29

Nov

Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes And How To Avoid Them Part Five

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing To Follow The Principle And Income Act

by: Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

As a Pennsylvania trustee what investment strategy should you follow?

Is a “unitrust” right for you?

A mistake that many Pennsylvania trustees make is not understanding the rules governing trusts …

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22

Nov

Avoiding Common Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes Part Four

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing To Follow The Uniform Trust Act

by: Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

The Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act has mandatory  requirements for the trusts creation, termination, modification among others. It is important to follow all of the rules and regulations as a trustee so you …

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14

Nov

Avoiding Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes Part Three

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Failing To Follow The Prudent Investor Rule

by: Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

Are you a trustee of a Pennsylvania trust?

Do you want to avoid personal liability and lawsuits?

If you answered yes to either of these questions you will want to read the …

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5

Nov

Avoiding Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes Part Two

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Trustees Make

Making Trust Distributions Too Soon

by:  Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

Throughout history, trustees have been sued for failing to properly administer or to invest trust assets under Pennsylvania law.

And, to make matters worse, (or  much better depending on your perspective) Pennsylvania has  …

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23

Oct

End of The Year Gifts, Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts – What You Need to Know for 2010 and 2011

Need to know more about urgent estate planning, will, trust and end of year gifiting?

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10

Oct

Pennsylvania Trustee Mistakes And How To Avoid Them Part One

If you are a trustee of a Pennsylvania trust and you want to avoid personal liability and lawsuits by the beneficiaries, then you’ll want to read David Frees’ latest post on avoiding trustee mistakes and liability. It will take less than three minutes and might save you emotional pain and lost time, money, and energy.

This …

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27

Sep

Did You Inherit Assets From An Estate in 2010? There May Be Taxes You Don’t Even Know About

Capital Gains Taxes For Trusts, Estates, and Beneficiaries of Estates in 2010 Are The Subject of IRS Attention. By: Attorney David M. Frees III

If you inherited assets from a trust or an estate where the decedent died during 2010 you probably thought that you were spared the worries and expenses of the federal …

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27

Sep

Join Us At Our Client, Friends, and Family Activities and Educational Events

The Will, Trust, Estate and Probate Section of Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees Invites You To Our Upcoming Client Appreciation and Educational Events

Doug, Jennifer, and I enjoyed hosting and getting together with you to say thank you for being our clients, and in 2011 we will also be hosting a series …

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25

Sep

Estate Planning Sounds Hard But Our Clients Love How “Easy” It Is

Wills and Estate Planning Sound Hard But The Process Can Be Easy – Well Maybe Easy Isn’t Quite Accurate But It’s Easier Than You Think And You Feel Better When It’s Done Than You Can Imagine

Many young couples with families, older couples who’s children are grown, and even seniors with grandchildren, avoid doing …

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17

Sep

Another Billionaire Avoids The Federal Estate Tax – By Dying In 2010

Avoiding The Federal Estate Tax – In 2010 and Beyond What You Need To Know and Do In Your Estate Plan To Be Ready For 2011

The federal estate tax is currently not in effect.  However, it will return at rates and in amounts that have not been seen for some time.  As of January …

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15

Sep

Can You Request An Extension To File A Federal Estate Tax Return?

Can You Get An Extension To File A Federal Estate Tax Return (Form 706)?

In 2010 there is no federal estate tax and the IRS is not currently accepting the form 706.

In case you’re wondering why anyone would file an estate tax return when there is no estate tax, that’s another story for another …

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10

Sep

How Do You Get The Most Out of The Remaining Days of Summer and Fall?

Getting The Most Out of The Remaining Days of Great Weather Great Summer and Fall Actives For Our Friends and Clients

By: David Frees

We want our clients and friends to get the most out of life and out of the remaining days of summer and those first warm days of fall.

We do …

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10

Sep

Is Your Pet Included In Your Estate Plan? Should It Be?

Providing for horses and pets in your estate plan...

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8

Sep

What’s a $100,000 Charitable Trust Worth in 91 Years?

If you’re interested in using a charitable trust and want to know what happens as the money grows, or what happens when the charitable purpose of your trust no longer exists, the read this quick article about Charitable trusts.

And, for more information about trusts, living trusts, charitable trusts, insurance trusts, and family trusts, …

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5

Sep

It’s Time To Start or To Return To College – Did Your Son or Daughter Leave You With A Power of Attorney?

It’s that time of year when our college aged children go back to college and we may not see them again until Thanksgiving.  But, they might need our help inn between, and without a power of attorney that might mean trouble.  We tend to think that powers of attorney are for the elderly.  And, it’s …

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21

Aug

When Do My Children Need To Do a Will? The Answer Might Shock You

If you have children between the ages of 18 and thirty, chances are that they don't have a will. And, there are many reasons why that might be a bad idea. For example, many of our adult children have children of their own but have not done a will to name a guardian, executor and trustee to care for those children, or their finances

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16

Aug

New Resources For Building and Protecting Your Estate and Your Estate Plan

I know that the title to this article: “Resources for Building and Protecting Your Estate and Your Estate Plan” is both long (imagine that, a long winded lawyer) and apparently silly.

How do I know that it sounded silly?

This is a suggestion for a resource sent to me by one of my sons when …

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14

Aug

Phoenixville Attorneys To Sponsor Borough's First TEDX Conference

Local lawyers David Frees and Douglas Kaune of Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees are sponsors of the first TEDx Conference to be held in Phoenixville at the Colonial Theater.

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13

Aug

When Plea Bargaining Doesn’t Get The Job Done — Murder Mediation 

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

A judge in Bonner County, Idaho has appointed a mediator to attempt to resolve a first-degree murder case.  Unbelievable?  The judge’s action was in response to a joint motion made by the County Prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney.  The mediator will be paid with public funds.  The case involves …

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2

Aug

Family Limited Partnerships, The IRS, And Your Estate Planning

How to use a FLP (Family Limited Partnership) in your estate and business planning...

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27

Jul

If You Don’t Have A Will The State Of Pennsylvania Has Done One For You – Is It What You Want?

What happens if you die without a will (intestate) in the State of Pennsylvania? Will lawyer David Frees has the answers

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27

Jul

Understanding The Federal Estate Tax – A Quick Estate Tax Video

This brief television news video actually brings you up to speed on the crazy state of the federal estate tax and Pennsylvania inheritance taxes

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27

Jul

Why is Mediation Helpful to Businesses?

Watch attorney Steve Lagoy, a professionally trained mediator, as he explains some of the benefits to business of the mediation process.

Why is mediation helpful? Mediation is both cost efficient and a time saver for all the parties involved in a dispute. With both parties setting the terms of the mediation as opposed …

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24

Jul

The Latest Federal Estate Tax Motion Is Dead – What Now?

Analysis of the most recent death tax reform issues in the Senate along with analysis of what to do with your estate planning documents...

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20

Jul

The Car Insurance Coverage You Need To Protect Yourself and Your Family

What You Don’t Know About Insurance Can Hurt You

Get Your copy for free.

Attorney David Frees and his brother Robb Frees, a Pennsylvania insurance agent and insurance coverage expert, have teamed up to write a new book on the insurance coverage that most agents and insurance companies seem to ignore but your …

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18

Jul

Should I Share My Will With The Kids?

The tricky question of when to give children or family members a copy of your will, trust, estate planning documents is....

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30

Jun

What Makes a Good Mediator?

Watch Attorney Stephen Lagoy as he explains the qualities of a good mediator.

What are the qualities of a good mediator? A good mediator listens intently, understands human nature, and withholds evaluative judgment. A good mediator lets the mediation process unfold. A good mediator is patient.

For more information on how mediation can …

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28

Jun

Baseball, Bankruptcy and Mediation: the Texas Rangers

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

The Texas Rangers own the longest winning streak in the major leagues this year (eleven) and currently have a healthy lead in the American League’s West Division.  Success on the field has not translated to financial bliss, however.  The Rangers’ present ownership filed for Bankruptcy in May to complete a …

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18

Jun

Senate Action Urged on Estate Taxes – Trying To End The Uncertainty

Federal Estate Tax Reform and Certainty Is Needed by: David M. Frees III, Esquire

Congress failed, at the end of the year to enact any estate tax reform. As a result, the tax was eliminated for a one year period. This might seem like a blessing, but currently, many people’s documents no longer function as …

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17

Jun

The Latest News on GRATs -Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts – In Congress

David M. Frees III, Esquire on The Ten Year GRAT

The Houses Passes A New 10 Year GRAT Requirement

On June 15th, the US House passed H.R. 5486 (a “jobs bill”) that contained a requirement that GRATS (Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts) be for a term of at least 10 years.

As readers know, we have …

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7

Jun

What is Mediation?

Watch this video, the second in a series, in which Steve Lagoy explains what mediation is and why you or your clients should consider using this facilitated negotiation process to resolve your legal conflict.

Attorney Stephen P. Lagoy is a partner in Unruh Turner Burke & Frees with offices located in West …

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1

Jun

Why Use Mediation to Settle a Legal Dispute?

Watch Steve Lagoy in this short video as he explains why you and your clients should use mediation to settle a legal dispute.

Individuals and corporations should consider using mediation as a way to resolve disputes outside of the courts.   In this short video, Attorney Stephen P. Lagoy describes what mediation is and …

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25

May

IRS Information on College Education and Taxes – Do You Need A New Will When You Have College Aged Kids

Need more information on paying for college, wills and tax issues?

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24

May

When Is A Bank The Best Trustee In A Pennsylvania Trust?

Chosing the best trustee might mean a bank as trustee in certain cases.

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17

May

The Looming Federal Estate Tax – What’s Your View?

David M Frees Esq on Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, The Federal Estate Tax and What Worries You?

For the next few months, there is no federal estate tax. Many states ( including Pennsylvania) still have an inheritance tax, and the federal gift tax laws remain in effect. But soon, estates of more than 1 million dollars …

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10

May

What is A Trust Protector and When Do I Need One?

Trust protectors can provide flexibility in these times of changing laws and tax laws in trusts under your will and for irrevocable trusts...

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26

Apr

Mediating Family Business and Estate Disputes

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

One of the advantages of a mediated resolution over a litigated verdict is that the former is more likely to mitigate tensions while building understanding and trust.  For parties who desire to preserve a future relationship with their adversary, mediation provides the basis for resolving future disputes and supports an ongoing …

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21

Apr

Mediating a Reproductive Rights Dispute: Who Gets Custody of Frozen Embryos?

By: Stephen P.  Lagoy

The parties to a dispute arising out of an “Embryo Adoption Agreement” have agreed to submit their case to mediation.  The fate of two frozen human embryos hangs in the balance.  Pursuant to the agreement, the donor couple provided four embryos to a reproductive center, two of which were implanted in …

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9

Apr

Are GRATs (Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts) Dead?

GRATs are one of the best estate planning techniques for families with welath of over 1 million dollars and they are under legislative attack. The time to act may be very limited. Read more if you have ever considered a GRAT.

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3

Apr

Life Insurance and Estate Planning – What Are They Saying Behind Our Backs?

Get the scoop on what life insurance sales people and their industry are saying about the federal estate tax and estate planning when you're not looking.

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3

Apr

When is My Gift Tax Return Due? Read On If You’re Short On Time!

Gift Tax Returns Are Due Now!

Gift tax returns are due by April 15th of the year following the gift. You must file a return if you have made a gift of a hard to value asset such as real estate or an interest in a closely held business. You may also need to …

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31

Mar

Privacy vs. Right to Know: Mediation Ordered for Release of SeaWorld Death Video

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

Mediators are called upon in a variety of contexts — business, family, injury, labor to name a few — to help resolve difficult disputes.   The recent death of a 40 year old trainer at SeaWorld has given rise to a unique mediation issue.  The family of Dawn Brancheau obtained an injunction from a Florida court …

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29

Mar

Delaware Clergy Abuse Cases To Be Sumitted to Mediation

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

Facing 131 lawsuits filed by alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware filed for bankruptcy in October 2009.  In a breaking development that signals a desire by both sides to resolve the disputes quickly, the Diocese and abuse victims are reported to have agreed to …

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23

Mar

Four Reasons to Consider Mediation

By: Donald C. Turner

When, during the course of litigation, the possibility of mediation arises, clients frequently ask why they should spend the time and money to hire an independent third party to assist them in seeking to resolve a dispute. This is a good question and there are a variety of possible answers, …

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17

Mar

Federal Court Looks to Mediators to Resolve Air Crash Lawsuits

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

Not surprisingly, the crash of Continental Flight 3407 on its approach to Buffalo, N.Y. on February 12, 2009 has spawned lawsuits by the families of the 45 passengers, four crew members, one off-duty crew member, and one person on the ground, who died in the crash. The lawsuits have been …

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17

Mar

Mediation Helps Solve Iraqi Tribal Disputes

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

In the wake of the big War in Iraq, the country has become “the land of a hundred little wars.” American-trained mediators have come to play pivotal roles in resolving these local conflicts without bloodshed. Read the full story here:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/wellesley

For more information, please contact READ MORE

15

Mar

Consider Mediation to Resolve Elder Disputes

By: Stephen P. Lagoy

Mediation has become an increasingly common approach in resolving elder disputes, including such issues as inheritances and care-giving. Advantages of mediation over litigation in the elder context include controlling costs, maintaining the confidentiality of private family disputes, and maintaining family relationships. It is important that the mediator selected be be …

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8

Mar

Should I Make Gifts In 2010? The How and Why of Gifting In The Current Environment

Why gifts might really be savvy and how to make gifts to children and grand children in 2010.

It looks like there may not be meaningful estate or gift tax changes in 2010. And, the crash landing of the nasty old federal estate tax on January 1, 2011 means that we will soon return to …

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2

Mar

Announcing Our Complimentary Will and Trust Review Clinic and Appointments

Do you want a complimentary will or trust review? The appointment is free for the first twenty -five....

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28

Feb

I Have A Trust. Why Would I Still Need A Will? And Other Scary Estate Planning News

Was your trust prepared by a non lawyer or by a lawyer that you never saw? why this might actually cost your heirs...

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24

Feb

Think Congress Is "Crazy" For Not Passing Some Kind Of Federal Estate Tax Law? Paul Volcker Agrees With You.

Estate and trust lawyer, David Frees on estate tax planning ideas and information on the crazy federal estate tax situation

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11

Feb

Revocable Trusts and Wills In Pennsylvania – Which To Use Is An On Going Debate

If you have ever been confused about when to use a will and when to use a revocable trust, you are not alone. I have just posted a video, and a great quick overview of that question of will or revocable trust on our estate planning site www.PaEstatePlanners.com.

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7

Feb

Return of the RMD – Required Minimum Distributions Return for 2010 and 2009 Deductions that You Can Still Take!

Good income tax planning is part of any good estate planning. Do you need deductions for 2009? Are you subject to Required Minimum Distributions in 2010? Read on....

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3

Feb

Asset Protection and Tax Fraud and Danger Signs – Avoiding Strategies Too Good To Be True

Visit www.PaEstate Planners for valuable articles and information about wills, trust, and asset protection planning and avoiding tax fraud in investments

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31

Jan

Restarting IRA and 401(k) Distributions For 2010

If you stopped taking mandatory IRA or 401(k) distributions last year you might be wondering if you can do the same this year. The quick answer?

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29

Jan

Asset Protection and Joint Bank Accounts – It May Not Be All About The Signature Card

By David Frees Esq. “Top Lawyer” by Main Line Today Magazine. Married couples often believe that signing a joint signature card at the bank makes those assets impervious to creditor claims in the event you are sued. And, while Pennsylvania law does offer some protection on joint accounts, you need to be …

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26

Jan

We’re Not Married – Do We Need A Will?

Estate planning for unmarried couples is a must. Without a will many protections for married couples will not apply...

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25

Jan

New IRS Ruling On Asset Protection Trusts – Yes You Can Protect Assets and Keep Them Out Of Your Estate

By: David Frees Wills, Trusts, Estate and Asset Protection Planning Generally, the rule is that when you create a trust, and keep the right to receive assets from that trust, the trust can be reached in a lawsuit against you and will be taxed in your estate.

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10

Jan

Gift Tax Facts and Fiction For 2010

Pennsylvania probate, trust and estate lawyer David Frees on the facts and fiction of gift taxes in 2010. Don't make an expensive mistake...

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7

Jan

Great Overview of The Estate Tax Situation and Recommendations by CBS and The WSJ

Are you wondering:

Should I update my estate plan, will or trust?

Do I need a new power of attorney?

I have over 3.5 million dollars how does the affect me?

I have under 1.0 million dollars. What now?

To Roth or not to Roth?

What is happening to the estate tax?

What if I …

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5

Jan

Our Estate Tax Issues May Not Matter According To Russia

By David Frees Law Office: Phoenixville, Malvern and West Chester

You think retroactive taxation for estate tax purposes is a problem?

Well, according to Russia, we have bigger problems…. click here to read more about estate planning and the pending fall of the United States governmentt.

If you need more information about planning …

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4

Jan

Financial News That You Can Use – For Yourself or to Educate the Next Generation

Attorney David Frees Presents Financial, Legal, and Lifestyle News and Tips

One of the best ways to safeguard the inheritance that you leave to the next generation, is through trusts. However, teaching children and grandchildren to be financially savvy is the true key to growing and maintaining family wealth across the generations. Here is a …

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2

Jan

Married To A Wealthy Spouse? Check His Or Her Will. You Might Be Disinherited Thanks To Congress

The lapse of the federal estate tax may be leaving many wealthy spouses without an inheritance due to formula clauses that no longer work. Estate lawyer David M Frees III and the Wall Street Journal...

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2

Jan

Useful Ideas for 2010 and Beyond And Starting Right Now

Strategies, tips, checklist for the new year and tools for updating your wills or estate plan.

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1

Jan

Happy New Year To Our Clients, Friends, Professional Advisors and Team Members

We would like to take this opportunity to say “Happy New Year and Thank You” from the entire firm and from the Trust, Estate and Wealth Preservation Section of Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees.

We know that in this area of the state of Pennsylvania, you have many choices for your trust, estate planning, …

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29

Dec

Americans Deserve Better – The New York Times On The Estate Tax Situation

28

Dec

The New Year Should Include An Estate Planning Resolution. Why?

Your will might not work any more thanks to Congress. Get your estate plan reviewed since last minuter changes in federal estate tax laws are radically changing...

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22

Dec

Want A Quick Review of News Stories and Analysis of The Estate Tax Problem?

Review of news and analysis of the temporary federal estate tax repeal and what to do now by attorney David Frees

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21

Dec

Estate Planning For Families With Young Chidren – Attorney David Frees Presents At This Years PBI Estate Law Institue

Estate Planning For Pennsylvania Families With Young Children By: Pennsylvania Attorney David M. Frees III

On Friday, December 12th 2009 Chester County Attorney David M Frees was a faculty memeber at the Philadelphia Convention Center to present his well attended program: Estate Planning For Families With Young Children.

Frees, who spoke for the …

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19

Dec

Is Your Estate Over 1 Million dollars? Over 3.5 Million Dollars? Then You Must Get Information On This Estate Tax Mess Before The End Of the Year.

The lapse of the federal estate tax poses many problems for American's who have estates of over 1 million dollars since it is unclear whether or not the tax will be restored and there are new tax challenges awating families under the new rules. Act now or later?

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19

Dec

What The Estate Tax "Frenzy" May Mean To Your Family and Your Record Keeping

Lawyers in Pennsylvania and throughout the US are grappling with the congressional failure to extend the estate tax.

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18

Dec

Estate Tax Reform Fails and The Dirty Little Secret of The Law

what you don't know about the lapse of the estate tax can hurt you. Why many American's need to revisit their plans now that the estate tax is about to lapse and Congress appears to have failed...

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16

Dec

Why Estate Planning Cannot Always Wait. Reasons To Update Your Will In Uncertian Times on Estate Taxes

Forbes Magazine recently published an article listing eight reasons to update your will, trust, or estate plan despite the uncertainty of the federal estate tax. If you have been wondering, whether or not to wait until the dust settles on federal estate tax reform, then read this interesting piece.

And, if we …

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14

Dec

529 Plans For Pennsylvania Residents And Great 529 Web Resources

Understanding, comparing, and establishing 529 plans. Probate, estate, and trust lawyer -Attorney David Frees on how and why to use a 529 plan to save for college education.

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13

Dec

Chester County Lawyer Awarded AVVO’s Highest Rating – 10 SUPERB

David Frees Esquire has received AVVOs highest rating for lawyers. Frees practices in Pennsylvania and focuses his practice in the areas of wills, trusts, estates, estate planning and asset protection planning.

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11

Dec

Give The Technology Gift -A Domain Name – That Might Last A Lifetime

This blog reviews why many sophisticated families are buying domain names for their families, children, and grandchildren.

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6

Dec

Protecting, Insuring, and Passing On A Valuable Wine Collection – It May Be Harder Than You Think

Information on protecting and insuring a wine collection. Information on wine collections, wills, trusts, and estate planning issues.

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5

Dec

Prenuptial Agreements and Pennsylvania Estate Planning – What The Tiger Woods Disaster Reminds Us To Do

Avoid damaging and expensive family disputes. Use a prenuptial agreement or post nup if you have children from a prior marriage or you are contemplating remarriage.

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4

Dec

The House Passes New Estate Tax Law – What’s Next? The Senate Will Probably Change It

Today, the house passed a bill extending the federal estate tax into next year and beyond. The bill passed 220 to 200 with all support coming from the democratic side of the house. This bill keeps the tax rate at 45% and exempts 3.5 million dollars. A married couple can still protect 7 million …

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4

Dec

Who Are The Top Trust and Estate Lawyers On The Main Line? – David Frees According to Main Line Today

David Frees has had a long tradition of practicing law in the areas of trusts, estates, wills, estate planning and asset protection in Pennsylvania. He is honored to represent many of the Philadelphia region’s most successful business men and women in their personal estate planning and to represent so many attorneys and other professionals as …

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3

Dec

Can Too Many Accounts Cost You Money and Ruin Your Estate Plan?

There are many cases where less is more. This is the first in aseries of articles on how and why to simplify your estate and your estate plan.

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30

Nov

FAQs: My Child Is A POD Beneficiary of My Acconts and is In Financial Trouble. Are My Accounts At Risk?

If I named my child as a POD (pay on death) or FBO (for benefit of) beneficiary of a bank or stock account and that child is now in financial trouble, can I lose the accounts?

The short answer is “No.”

POD designations on an account do not make that account the property of …

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29

Nov

Federal Estate Tax – More Action and A Possible Vote in the House

Several important new bills are pending before congress and may change your estate planning...

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29

Nov

Mom Named Me As Executor – Now Who Can Sue Me? Read This Before Starting the Executor Or Trustee Job

If you have been appointed as an executor or trustee in Pennsylvania don't act until you have read this article and invested two minuets in watching this video for you on the legal risks and how to avoid them.

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26

Nov

Chrsitmas, Hanukkah, and Holiday Activites Galore and Where and How To Find Them

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Holiday events and where and how to find them including shopping, Christmas Trees, music, films and many more holiday events.

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25

Nov

Estate Planning For The End of The Year

By: David M. Frees III, Esquire Will, Trust and Estate Planning for the End of The Year. Want to make sure that you avoid the most common estate planning mistakes at the end of the year and that you are reviewing and doing what you need to complete to make sure that your new year …

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24

Nov

Valuable Social Security Resources – Find Out If You Qualify For Social Security Benefits

Need more information about social security benefits, medicare benefits, prescription drug benefits? Pennsylvania estate, will, and trust attorney David M. Frees III provides links to government sites...

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23

Nov

The Pros and Cons of Do It Yourself Estate Planning Documents – This Doesn’t Sound Good

Are do it yourself wills and estate planning safe? Do they work in Pennsylvania? These and other self help legal issues are examined...

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20

Nov

Alaska Asset Protection Trusts and Federal Estate Tax – Important News

There is very important news on the estate taxation of asset protection trusts

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20

Nov

When Probating A Will Makes Sense – The Five Reasons

Everyone wants to avoid probate.

The probate system is viewed as slow, expensive, and too public.

But sometimes, if you’re an executor, you really want and need the probate system and the orphan’s Court judge.

The truth is, that most of the estates where the executor hires us to do the administration, and to keep …

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18

Nov

Why is My Will Lawyer on PBS Television?

Pennsylvania attorney David M. Frees III on family communications and family businesses as well as his books The Language of Parenting: Building Great Family Relationships At All Ages and his Essay on Business in Einstein's Business.

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17

Nov

More Federal Estate Tax News – A New Estate Tax Bill That Might Work

What is the most up to date news on the federal estate tax and how it affects clients in Pennsylvania?

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16

Nov

Gifts To Children and Grandchildren – Why Can’t I Give More Each Year?

How much can I gift at the end of the year and gifting to children and grandchildren for married and single people.

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13

Nov

Estate Tax Repeal vs Repair – Have You Made Up Your Mind on The Federal Estate Tax?

Information vital to your actions on the federal estate tax issue

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12

Nov

Do I need To Finish My Grantor Retained Annuity Trust -GRAT by the End of The Year?

First a few preliminaries on the Grantor Retained Annuity Trust or GRAT.

What is a GRAT? GRAT stand for Grantor Retained Annuity Trust. It is a special trust where you can make a gift and get the original amount back over a period of years and the growth of the asset remains in the trust …

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10

Nov

Make Your Estate Planning Gifts Work – Avoiding The Horrible Mistakes in End of Year Gifting

Are you considering making end of year estate planning gifts to children, grandchildren or great grandchildren?

Curious about how much you can give without paying gift tax? This brief video tells you how much you can give without paying taxes.

Want to avoid the mistakes that people make that can actually cost your heirs …

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8

Nov

Why an Internet Search for “The Best” Trust, Estate, or Probate Lawyer Might Not Be “The Best.”

More and more consumers are using Google, local search, and internet tools to help them to find the right lawyer to help with wills, trusts, estate plans and related matters.

But, there are many reasons why searching for “the best” trust lawyer, estate attorney, or probate lawyer could actually get you the wrong information and …

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31

Oct

What Will Happen If There Is No Estate Tax – For A Few Weeks or Months?

No one ever thought that this would happen. Congress cannot just let this lapse. They will lose too much tax revenue. It doesn’t make sense.

But, that’s the conclusion of the Wall Street Journal after a review of trust and estate lawyers at a recent gathering. And those of you who are my clients know …

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12

Oct

Worried About Your Planning? Not Enough Time? Print This Easy End of Year Estate Planning Checklist To Make Sure.

Do You Have A Nagging Feeling That There are Things That You Should Be Doing About Your Estate Planning, Will, or Finances Before the End of The Year?

Do You Want A Free Prescription for Success and Relief of That Nagging Feeling?

Click here to download a free and easy to use …

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11

Oct

Announcing Our New Green Initiatives – And How You Can Win A Prize

As many of you know, the Trust, Estate and Wealth Preservation Section of the firm is a very paper intensive operation. And, as many of you have observed, law offices are notorious for their wasteful use of not only paper but many resources.

Hello. I’m Dave Frees, and I Chair the Trust, Estate and Wealth …

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11

Oct

Building and Protecting Your Wealth: Dive in or Go Slow With Investing During Market Recoveries?

By: David M. Frees III – Trusts, Wills, Estates and Estate Planning

Every long term financial and estate plan deserves your patience and your attention. But, you deserve long term results, greater security and growth of your wealth and the legacy you plan to leave. We post ideas and information to help here and on …

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9

Oct

Want Resources For Financial Planning Data?

Many of our clients know that having an integrated financial and estate plan makes the difference when you want to both build assets for yourself and to protect assets for your heirs. And, many of our clients have financial advisers while others are self directing their investments. Either way, ultimately , you are responsible for …

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7

Oct

If You’re Over 70 1/2 with an IRA The IRS Has Important News For You

Over 70 1/2 years of age? Have an IRA? Attorney David Frees gets you the news on new IRS rules on IRA distributions.

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29

Sep

What Can You Learn From Senator Kennedy’s Will and Trusts?

David M. Frees examines Senator Kennedy's will and how he used wills and trusts to protect family and privacy. This article also examines how he selected his executors and trustees.

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28

Sep

What Do Attorney Dave Frees, The Dalai Lama and Billionaire Richard Branson Have in Common?

Well, for one thing, they will all be meeting in Calgary, Alberta Canada this week at the Engage Today Conference.

Dave Frees, who represents many successful executives, business men and women, community leaders and  wealthy families and who teaches at seminars throughout the country says “I am always looking for any knowledge, information, tools and …

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28

Sep

When You’re Leaving Someone Out of The Will – Making Sure That Your Will Is Respected

Making your will work even when challenged. Leaving a person out of the will.

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5

Sep

Teaching The Next Generation About Money and Wealth – A Gift From Dave Frees

Regardless of where you are on your personal journey of building wealth and a legacy, you probably want to teach your children or grandchildren about how to successfully, and happily build, keep, share, and grow wealth.

Years ago I discovered a great resource to help with that task. It is a book by George S. …

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2

Sep

Mistakes Executors Make and How To Avoid Them

Click here to get your free copy of this valuable executor resource for Pennsylvania executors.

If you are an executor, or, if you are trying to decide who to appoint as an Executor, make sure to order and read this important report for executors by David M. Frees III.

This report examines the most …

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31

Aug

Is Your Pennsylvania IRA Still Protected From Lawsuits?

A recent case has opened a new door for someone suing you to try to reach or to attack your IRA. And, while IRAs usually have a heightened level of asset protection, my new article on this topic has a few suggestion – especially if you have a self directed IRA.

Please click here to …

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31

Aug

The Will TO DO List For Parents

If you have children (old or young) you may have been thinking about doing a will or updating an old will to include new children, to appoint a guardian, and to do a trust to protect them from getting control over the inheritance too soon.

In fact, new parents often report that they secretly worry …

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24

Aug

Executor Fees In Pennsylvania – Who Can Reduce These Fees? It May Not Be Just Who You Think

Historically, executor fees in Pennsylvania and how much can be charged by an executor, have been governed by fee guidelines as opposed to state statutory fees. For a review of a common fee guideline, see my article on the Johnson Estate Guidelines on Executor Fees.

As a result, the probate courts have always had …

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17

Aug

Protecting Your Estate Plan From Challenges and Attack

If you have a second marriage, step children, children from separate marriages or who are treated unequally under your plan, then you must protect your will and estate plan from attack.

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1

Aug

Pennsylvania Executors – Avoiding The Mistakes That Lead To Personal Liability

Click here to get your free copy of this valuable executor resource for Pennsylvania executors.

If you are an executor, or, if you are trying to decide who to appoint as an Executor, make sure to order and read this important report for executors by David M. Frees III.

This report examines the most …

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30

Jul

How Do I Pay For Estate and Inheritance Taxes Parts One and Two

David M Frees III answers the questions: When are death taxes due? and How do I pay for death taxes?

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21

Jul

Protecting Yourself and Your Family: An inexpensive but essential coverage that you need – right now

What happens if you are injured by an uninsured motorist in Pennsylvania. How can you protect yourself and your loved ones from this danger? How does this relate to your estate and asset protection plan?

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13

Jul

Avoiding Will Contests – How To Prepare For The Worst

Have you thought about disinheriting a child or grandchild? Do you intent to “write” an heir out of your will who might expect an inheritance? Are you leaving one child more than another child? Do you children have radically different needs and you are considering an unequal distribution or gift to your children?

If you …

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13

Jul

Who Needs A Will In Pennsylvania? You Do According To USA Today

I recently posted a short review of USA Today’s excellent article on the question of who needs a will? So if you have been wondering “Do I need a will?” then click here for more information on the question “Who needs a will?”

For more information and secrets of doing an effective will, …

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8

Jul

Protect Assets Using Family Care Agreements

Family Care Agreements, also referred to as Caregiver Agreements, have increased in popularity as a result of the more stringent Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) Medicaid gifting rules. These agreements are usually established between an elderly individual who is agreeing to “pay” and the individual or individuals who is/are agreeing to provide continued care and assistance …

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7

Jul

Family Limited Partnerships – Victory and Some Pointers

In a recent case, the tax payer had a victory over an IRS challenge that sought to include the full value of FLP (family limited partnerships) assets into the decedent’s estate.

Family limited partnerships are often used to manage family businesses, real estate ventures, and even in some cases, publicly traded securities and other more …

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12

Jun

Did You Throw Away That Mattress? Another Reason To Worry About Your “Investments”

Here is a great email I received. Funny, dangerous, and reason to be careful with that used mattress.

Protecting Family Assets (even mattresses)

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4

Jun

Reminder: Medicaid Asset Protection is Alive after the DRA

There is a great deal of misinformation about the viability of Medicaid and Nursing Home asset protection planning after the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). I want to remind clients, friends and advisors that there are an abundance of planning options available to single and married individuals who want to protect assets from spending …

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29

May

What Controls? The Will or The Beneficiary Designation?

Are you a Pennsylvania resident? Do you know whether or not your will controls or the beneficiary designation for your life insurance, annuities, and other non probate assets controls who gets those assets?

I recently ran across this great little article on the important question of which controls – The will or the named …

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17

May

Your Government Doesn’t Like Off Shore Accounts. Should You?

Off shore accounts have been getting a pretty bad rap in the news media with the leaders of both America and Great Britain making multiple appearances to clearly establish that tax havens are just for the big corporations and illegal players seeking to evade taxes and engage in unlawful activities.

The attached article examines the …

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11

May

Hidden Dangers and Unique Opportunities In Estate Planning During Recession – How To Avoid The Dangers and Harvest The Opportunities

If you have accumulated any wealth during your lifetime, and you have the desire to pass all or part of that legacy on to your heirs, you have probably been reading quite a bit lately about the unique planning opportunities that exist today.

And, it is true, that there are some conditions in the market …

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4

May

Passing Wealth Across Generations – Ivanka Trump’s Perspective by: David Frees

I was fortunate to be a speaker last week at the same conference as Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. And, better yet, the topic of Ivanka’s speech had to do with how she was raised and why she works so hard despite her family’s wealth.

Now as most of you know, the passing of wealth between …

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23

Apr

Estate Planning For You..And A Gift For Your Spouse or Loved One

Most people don’t think of the process of estate planning as having any benefit for themselves. Do you?

For most of us, the process of estate planning is something that we endure for the benefit of our family, friends, and/or a favorite charity.

You want your legacy to go where you want it to go. …

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21

Apr

Mom, Apple Pie, and The Death Tax – Another Man’s Views

This is an alternative view on federal estate tax changes but be aware, not entirely accurate on the facts.

 

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20

Apr

Have You Ever Wondered “Do I Need A Will?” Apparently Yes.

Periodically clients ask “Do I even need a will?” And, you would expect a lawyer who drafts wills, and trusts, and asset protection plans in Pennsylvania to say yes. And, you should know, that I believe in the value of what I help people to do. And, I have seen many examples of little or …

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19

Apr

Flat Fees For Lawyers – Executors Want to Know the Cost of Probate

If you are an executor of a Pennsylvania estate, read this artcile before you hire counsel. The one thing that families, beneficiaries and executors all want is to minimize the costs of probate and even administering a trust or estate not subject to probate. Most firms still charge according to fee guidelines, or on an …

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18

Apr

529 Plans – Want To Know How The Obamas Are Saving For College For The Kids?

With the cost of 4 year college educations continuing to soar and, to out pace inflation, many of us are wondering how to save for our children. There are a variety of tools ranging from multiple 529 plans to UTMA accounts, to trusts, and outright savings in the parent’s own names.

But, if you want to …

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17

Apr

A Great Little Estate Planning Article

This article is a quick read and very informative on the issue of  how and why to work with your advisers to make sure that your estate planning works.

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17

Apr

Want to know more about Pennsylvania and Asset Protection?

Asset protection is a practice of using certain strategies and tactics, to legally and ethically protect your assets from various risks such as litigation, taxation, divorce and other claims. It differs from ordinary estate planning but many professionals, real estate owners, and business owners now seek added levels of protection in Pennsylvania that go beyond …

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14

Apr

Over $3.5 Million Dollars In Assets? The GRAT is Right – Right Now

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent article on the virtues and reasons for a GRAT right now. If you have been considering a GRAT (Grantor Retained Annuity Trust) there has probably never been a better time. Want to know more? Read on…

www.paestateplanners.com

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13

Apr

Documents In Order Can Mean Savings Of Time, Fees and Can Eliminate Trouble

Completing your Enhanced Estate Plan(TM) our proprietary process (often consisting of a Will, Power of Attorney, Advanced Medical Directive and one or more Trusts), is often viewed as the end of the process.

But, smart clients and estate and asset protection planners know that there is still a bit more to do.

I can hear …

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13

Apr

Joint Accounts Can Have Unexpected Pitfalls

Joint bank accounts are often established by individuals with the hope of creating an account with one or more of the following benefits:

probate avoidance, reduced inheritance taxes or as a convenient way to allow family member to write checks and pay bills.

Unfortunately there are numerous Medicaid/Elder Law Planning, estate planning and asset protection …

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13

Apr

Tax Day and Gift Tax Returns Do You Need and Extension to File?

Have you set up a GRAT, given a check or gifted property worth more than $13,000.00, paid for tuition or medical expenses for another person, given away real estate, corporate or business interests or other hard to value assets in 2008. Your gift tax return may be due.

Be sure to file or get an …

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11

Apr

Protecting Your Home Contracting Business – Does This New Law Apply To You or Your Business?

This blog and this department of the firm focus on wills, trusts, estate and asset protection. But, there is no better form of asset protection than making sure that your Pennsylvania based business complies with new laws.

Indeed, the newest act that may affect your business applies if you do work or sell products related …

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11

Apr

“Freeze” or Radical Increase in the Federal Death Tax on You and Your Family?

Read this just posted an article on the Federal Government’s claim that the proposals circulating in congress are a decrease in the tax and are quite reasonable. For competing views on this controversial tax and how to plan for it read this article by Chester County based will, trust, estate and asset protection lawyer …

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3

Apr

Federal Estate or “death” Tax and The New York Times

There are many views on the issue of estate taxes. The New York Times editorial may not be your view but it is worth a read. Do you think that a tax at your death should not be labeled a death tax? Read the New York Times Death Tax Editorial.

David M. Frees …

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3

Apr

Senate Votes On A budget Bill to Exempt More Estates – Will It Hold?

While this is only a budget bill, and only in the Senate, there was some movement on estate tax reform today. If this type of bill were to ultimately pass the house and senate it would allow many more couples, and individuals to do estate and asset protection planning for their heirs without some of …

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29

Mar

The Death Tax Update

Both the Senate and the US House of Representatives are now working on bills that would reform the federal estate tax (also known as the death tax) before the end of this year. Both bills contain a $3.5 million dollar exemption per person. This would allow an individual Pennsylvania resident to shelter $3.5 million dollars …

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16

Mar

The Top Mistakes of PA Executors and How To Avoid Them

I recently completed a great new report entitled “The Top Ten Mistakes Executors Make and How To Avoid Them.” This report is great for people who are or will be serving as executors of Pennsylvania estates for the obvious reason that it will help you to avoid personal liability. And, the report is also …

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15

Mar

What Are Executor Fees In Pennsylvania?

In many states, the fees that executors can charge are set by statute. In Pennsylvania, executor fees must be reasonable. They are always subject to court review. In general, many executors charge fees ranging from 1% to 5% of the estates value. The Supreme Court has ruled that a three percent fee is, on the …

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10

Mar

Update Your Tax Software For Protection and Tax Savings

Just a quick reminder that there were many changes in the tax laws for tax year 2008. And, to make sure that take advantage of any beneficial changes you should update the program and download any recent updates before preparing your return. For more, just click here to visit the Wall Street Journals article.

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9

Mar

Do Proposed Benefits of Death Tax Reform Really Hide Dangers?

Many articles, websites, blogs and government talking heads have been out in force to reassure tax payers and particularly the owners of family farms and small businesses, that the reforms proposed by the Obama Administration to the death tax will be highly beneficial and pose no dangers to these groups. But see David Frees’recent …

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8

Mar

No More Federal Estate or “Death” Taxes! Who said this on the View?

OK. This is not a completely serious blog entry. But wait. Federal estate taxes and death taxes are a serious topic. Have you ever wondered why your family has to pay a death tax? Have you ever thought that the federal estate tax seems unfair or that you have already paid taxes many times already …

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8

Mar

Possible Secret “Back Door” Death Tax Increase

There is currently a bill before the House Ways and Means Committee that would radically increase the federal estate (also known as the “Death Tax”).

Are you trying to pass on assets, investments, family land or farms, or a family business? If you are, then things might be about to get a lot rougher. …

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1

Mar

Family Get Togethers and Business Meetings Are Part of Leaving a Great Legacy and Building A Great Life and A Great Estate Plan

How meeting software and calendar coordinating web sites make your life a little better, your relationships stronger, and your estate and asset planning more effective.

Have you found that the pace of your life or your business is so hectic that even getting together with family, friends, and for business is getting harder …

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1

Mar

Taxes and Estate Planning – What Tax Systems Really Matter?

If you are a Pennsylvania resident, there are many different taxes and tax systems that have to be considered in creating any truly effective plan. In addition to the federal estate taxes, you should also consider the effect of gift taxes, state and federal income taxes, the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, and in many cases, the …

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23

Feb

Some Things That Can Ruin Estate Plans and Information We Need To Adapt

Our best laid plans can go awry. And, as they say in the armed forces, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Indeed, many financial plans have been rendered obsolete or non functional by recent events.

As we have observed before, many wills and estate plans in Pennsylvania fail because families fail to structure their …

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23

Feb

We Answer Your Questions About Pour Over Wills, Handwritten Wills and, Who Should Be executor

We have just posted the answers to some of your recent questions. Please enjoy this brief video and the answers to your questions. Just click below:

What is a pour over will? Click Here. What is a Holographic or Handwritten Will and why avoid them? Click Here. Who should be the executor …

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18

Feb

What is probate?

Probate is the court oversight of the estate administration process after a person passes away. Only certain assets are considered probate in nature. Probate assets typically are those owned by the decedent in the decedent’s individual name without a beneficiary designated. The Executor, where there is a will, or Administrator, where there is no will, …

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16

Feb

The Stimulus Package – Want To Know What It Really Says?

Many of our clients have expressed an interest in the Federal Stimulus Package. Now that it has become law, we have a link for you to visit and read the text (over 1,000 pages of it). You can also leave feedback and comment. Beware, that this stuff can put you to sleep so we strongly …

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15

Feb

Saving For, Paying For, And Planning For The Expenses of College Education

Many  clients ask us about how to plan and to save for college as part of their estate planning, asset protection planning, and tax planning. In our Enhanced Estate Planning Process (TM), we focus on the many ways that families can protect assets for the things that are important. And, lifestyle, family values, and educating …

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10

Feb

Protecting Children and Granchildren Form Divorce and Lawsuits

Concerned that a child or grandchild might lose an inheritance to divorce or a lawsuit? There are techniques that can be used to protect lifetime trusts and transfers and transfers under your will.

Often referred to as Beneficiary Controlled Trusts, or testamentary asset protection trusts, these vehicles can give an heir control over assets …

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10

Feb

The GRAT Explained Briefly – How To Get Money Out of Your Estate and Pay No Gift Tax

Have you ever heard of a GRAT or a “Walton GRAT”? The Grantor Retained Annuity Trust is a powerful estate planning and asset protection technique that allows wealthy families and modestly wealthy families to move a great deal of value without incurring gift taxes at the time of the transfer. The GRAT also allows …

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9

Feb

Worried About Asset Protection? – Insurance is Your First Line of Defense

Asset protection has been an overlooked part of most estate plans. However, as the costs and incidents of litigation have risen, and as awards have become larger, clients are increasingly interested in what options and information we offer to help them protect their assets – not just from taxation and will disputes – but also …

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29

Jan

Stimulus and Federal Estate Tax Bills – What’s Missing and What Do You Do Now?

There are still people arguing for the elimination of the federal estate tax. However, it appears that it is here to stay. This article in the New York Times makes some interesting points. But, if the tax remains, there are some unique planning opportunities and it will be good to know what we have …

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27

Jan

Does The Federal Estate Tax Apply To You? You Might be Unpleasantly Surprised – Or Not

Effective as of January 1, 2009, the federal estate tax has a new exemption amount.

Currently, estates are exempt if they are below $3.5 million Dollars. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many people may still be subject to the tax even though they think that they and their families are free …

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27

Jan

More On The Federal Estate Tax – Straight from the IRS

At Unruh Turner Burke and Frees, the Trust Estates and Wealth Preservation section has developed a number of valuable resources for our clients to both understand and to manage their federal estate tax liability. We represent many affluent and moderately affluent clients and families who want to minimize or eliminate this tax, reduce inheritance taxes, …

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12

Jan

Obama To Keep The Estate Tax and Action Is Expected Soon

If you are interested in the status of the federal estate tax and how it may affect your planning as a resident of Pennsylvania please read more of the brief article that I posted this morning summarizing the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of the President and Congressional views on the need to move quickly on …

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6

Jan

Estate Planning and Asset Protection For Families In A Difficult Economy – The Silver Lining

Yes. Believe it or not the current economic down turn presents some serious estate and asset protection planning advantages.  Now I never encourage clients to give away or to give up control over assets that they might need.  But, once your core assets reach a point where you feel secure in maintaining your lifestyle, …

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2

Dec

Welcome to The Wealth Preservation Trust and Estates Section Blog

Are you –

Worried about your children and grandchildren getting sued or divorced and losing their assets or an inheritance? Concerned that your estate plan no longer reflects your current thinking or the current laws? Wondering how to best protect your assets and your lifestyle for yourself and your heirs? An Executor or administrator, or …

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West Chester, PA
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P.O. BOX 515
West Chester, PA 19380
(610) 692-1371
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120 Gay Street
P.O. Box 289
Phoenixville, PA 19460
(610) 933-8069