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Estate planning with revocable trusts

The estate plans created by Pennsylvania residents will vary from family to family. However, many issues that can be addressed by having a properly worded revocable trust in an estate plan.

The probate process can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Individuals can use a revocable trust to avoid the process after the death of the grantor.

How truckers can curb rise in truck crash fatalities

In Pennsylvania and across the U.S., more and more fatal crashes involve large trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that the percentage of fatal crashes involving one or more large trucks went up each year from 2015 to 2017. The same period saw an increase in large truck occupant fatalities. From 2016 to 2017, there was a rise in fatal large truck and/or bus crashes.

The years 2015, 2016 and 2017 also experienced a rise in fatal large truck crashes in work zones. Whereas in 2015 the percentage of such crashes was 26.8 percent, in 2017, it was 30.4 percent. Truckers may be interested to know about the annual National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is to be held April 8-12, 2019.

Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Spring is prime time to sell your home, so now is the perfect time to get ready. With the holidays behind us and the improving weather, people start to look at homes to move to. According to Zillow's Home Seller's Guide, The best time to sell a home is in May. It states, "Nationally, homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two weeks faster than average, and for $2,500 more." Another reason that spring is an optimal time to sell your home is that families with children want to be moved in before the school year starts.

How to update an estate plan to include digital assets

As technology evolves, it is likely that individuals in Pennsylvania and throughout the country have digital assets. These assets could be anything from credit card reward points to a social media account. There are many reasons why they need to be accounted for in an estate plan. One reason is that accounts left open could be used by others to commit identity theft. Thieves may gather information from dormant or unprotected accounts to open credit cards or take other actions in another person's name.

Failing to provide usernames or passwords to digital accounts may make it impossible to pay bills or access a bank or brokerage account. However, it can be difficult to determine how to share usernames or passwords. This is because there is no clear mechanism to do so without violating a Terms of Service Agreement (TOSA). While the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA), its rules don't always apply.

Do entrepreneurs have a tougher time making marriage work?

It takes tremendous effort to keep a marriage intact, just as it takes tremendous effort to start and build a successful company. Is it possible to do both? It can be done, but the odds are not good.

The list of notable entrepreneurs who failed to make their marriage work – at least the marriage they were in when they started their company – is long: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Most recently, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced they are divorcing after being married 25 years.

Being lost in thought can be dangerous while driving

Driving on Pennsylvania roads while daydreaming can be more dangerous than doing so while on a smartphone. Erie Insurance analyzed 172,000 traffic deaths over the past five years using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Of those deaths, roughly 10 percent were victims of distracted drivers. The data further revealed that 61 percent of distracted driving accidents occurred because one driver was simply lost in thought.

While self-driving cars will eventually take over, the transition to such technology could result in more distracted driving. Those who drive a Tesla or other cars that have autonomous driving features may be even more prone to complacency than other drivers. Companies like General Motors envision using eye-tracking software to ensure individuals stay alert while a car is in autonomous mode. However, the best advice may be to pay attention even if it can be difficult to do so while performing such a monotonous task.

How common is cellphone use while driving in the Philadelphia area?

Using a cellphone while driving can distract drivers, increasing accident risks. Despite these dangers though, this type of distracted driving remains very common in the Philadelphia area. This is what a recent survey commissioned by Travelers suggests.

The survey polled 435 drivers in the Philadelphia area about distracted driving. Three-fourths of these drivers reported using a mobile device when driving.

Having the Tough Conversations

Although it is extremely important to have a conversation about Estate Planning, many people are hesitant to raise the subject with their parents. Children may not think it's their place to raise the issue or may be waiting for Mom or Dad to bring it up. They might be uncomfortable discussing it or simply don't want to think about the losing their parents. They may not believe it's their place to raise the issue

What to know when a business is part of a divorce

Many people are starting their own businesses, either as a full-time endeavor or a way to supplement their income. When married couples get divorced, these businesses become part of the marital assets that must be divided according to Pennsylvania’s equitable division of property guidelines.

Even if only one spouse operated the business, it is likely considered marital property. The business may have been launched with household income, and the value of the business may have grown while both parties were married.

What to do When Calling an Attorney

Attorney.pngWhen you're looking for an attorney, it can be hard to know where to start. Some people may call every law firm that comes up in a Google search, while others prefer to review firm websites and attorney profiles before making calls. And once you're ready to reach out, what does an attorney really need to know?

Regardless of your approach, you may be wondering what you should say when your important legal matters are on the line. Here are three things you should know.

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