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Pittsburgh Family Law And Estate Planning Legal Blog

Baby Mama Drama

Antonio Brown may need to retract his wishes for wanting to be traded- and the reason has nothing to do with football. Pittsburgh Steeler's wide receiver recently made headlines stemming from him filing for full custody of his daughter. This legal move comes after the news broke that Brown was being investigated for a domestic dispute that occurred last month. Wiltrice Jackson, the mother of one of Brown's children, claims that Brown pushed her in January. If this is true Brown will have trouble gaining sole custody of his daughter.

Establishing trusts for children

Looking out for their children's best interests, many parents in Pennsylvania put a sizeable amount of money in a trust that will provide for generations to come. However, these same parents may elect to keep the existence of this trust hidden from their children till they grow up. Parents who choose to do this are trying to keep their children from becoming too spoilt or wasting their time pursuing frivolous goals.

That being said, several parents across the country might not have the choice of whether to keep the trust a secret from their children or not because state laws might dictate otherwise. Simply put, state laws govern trusts as well as the duties of the trustee, and seeing as 31 states have adopted the Uniform Trust Code, trustees in those states must follow that code. The Uniform Trust Code tries to protect the beneficiaries of a trust by dictating that a trustee must keep them reasonably informed about the trust. This information usually comes in the form of an annual accounting statement along with a copy of the trust agreement upon request.

How judges make child custody decisions

When parents in Pennsylvania decide to separate, child custody issues can be difficult to overcome. One ex may be concerned that they will lose their close bond with the kids, especially if the other parent maintains primary custody. While joint custody is becoming increasingly more common, there are a number of solutions that may be preferable depending on each family's circumstances. By understanding how family courts make decisions, parents can help to prepare themselves for a custody hearing.

In general, custody decisions are based on a determination of the child's best interests. The child's needs are given priority; although, a strong relationship with both parents is generally considered of major importance to childhood development. There are several factors that judges may keep in mind when making custody decisions. One factor is parenting ability, including a parent's ability to meet a child's needs. A parent's physical and psychological health may be considered as may his or her living situation. For example, a parent living with roommates and without separate sleeping space for the children may be considered unfavorable.

Estate planning for the future

Pennsylvania residents may wonder what's necessary to include as part of an estate plan. While thinking about the future may be a sensitive issue, it can also be an important means to make life easier for loved ones and ensure that a person's wishes are carried out. Many people put off making decisions about estate planning, especially in their younger years. However, even young people can benefit from making an estate plan, especially if they have any kind of assets, are married or have children.

There are a few steps that people can take to start the estate planning process. Among the most important documents for people of any age is a durable power of attorney for matters related to finances, property and health care. This document would allow a named trusted person to make decisions on the creator's behalf in case he or she is incapacitated. This can be especially important when critical health care decisions need to be made in an urgent situation. It can also be essential to ensuring that people are able to pay the bills in case of an emergency.

What constitutes an annulment in Pennsylvania?

What if there was a way to erase your marriage as if it never happened? Luckily, there might be. This procedure is known as an "annulment."

Similar to a divorce, an annulment is a legal procedure used to designate the end of a marriage. An annulment goes farther than a divorce decree, because it legally voids the marriage. As a result, the law does not recognize that the marriage ever existed.

Dividing the family business during a divorce

Pennsylvania business owners considering divorce may find themselves wondering how they can protect their investment in the enterprise and emerge from the end of the marriage with a fair deal. One of the most important pieces of information that can allow a business to be handled properly in a divorce is an accurate valuation, including the assets, liabilities, contracts and future growth of the company. Understanding the numbers can help ensure that the negotiations proceed on clear and straightforward grounds.

In addition, how the ownership of the business is structured can make a significant difference. If there are other business partners in addition to the divorcing couple involved in the business, the other partners could participate in buying out one spouse in order to protect the company during the divorce. In some cases, business partners or angel investors may insist on a prenuptial agreement to protect the company from being involved in property division issues. When one or both spouses are the only owners, however, others are unlikely to be involved. In some cases, the vast majority of the business' wealth may remain with the spouse who owns the business. In other cases, the split may edge closer to equal shares.

Estate planning lessons from the Bushes

While many people in Pennsylvania may not expect that they have much in common with George and Barbara Bush, the couple's passing may lead people to consider some factors that could be important for planning their estates. It is a known phenomenon for long-term, older married couples to pass away in quick succession. Sometimes called "broken heart syndrome," the widow or widower may die shortly after their spouse passed away. In the case of the Bushes, George Bush died less than eight months after his wife Barbara's death.

High-visibility couples may not generally be known for their close emotional connection, but the Bushes had long been an exception to that general rule. Many older couples who have spent decades together and are highly dependent on one another may die in quick succession. In one of the most well-known cases, handbag designer Judith Leiber and her husband died within hours of each other of heart attacks.

3 common living will mistakes

Living wills are an important aspect of estate planning. A living will is a document in which a person specifies what he or she wants to have happen when it comes to medical care in the event he or she loses the ability to make health care decisions. There are mistakes it can be important for people to steer clear of when it comes to these planning documents. Today, we’ll touch on three common ones.

The adoption process when a biological parent is unknown

You love your step child like they were your own biological child. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the law you likely have no legal right to make decisions for them. This includes where they go to school, medical and religious decisions and other important choices. This can be changed, though. If you and the child’s biological parent choose to pursue adoption, you can legally become the child’s other parent.

Something many adopting parents do not know is that if the other biological parent is unknown, then there is an added wrinkle in the adoption process. Some parents try to sidestep resolving this wrinkle but doing so only invites potential future problems should the other parent appear.

Smart ways to protect your finances after getting a divorce

Combining incomes and sharing most bills such as rent, mortgage, car payments and more can undoubtedly save you money while married. It is one of the conveniences of having a partner. However, it can be easy to forget how to scale-down and live independently again after a divorce. Women are especially vulnerable to crippling finances when frequently custody orders are granted to the mothers.

Divorce is one of the most vulnerable times in your life to adjust financially and not collapse into high amounts of debt, bad credit and more. Without a stable foundation of income and a plan of how to thrive throughout your split, you could find yourself in trouble. It is highly essential to take into consideration the impact divorce will play on your finances, and prepare accordingly.

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