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Pennsylvania Law Blog

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

When 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.


Did you know that gift cards and gift certificates are among the most popular gifts, not only for Christmas, but also for any gift-giving occasion? The most popular are for merchandise stores, but there are many which are purchased for fast food franchises, restaurants and services like salons. For the eleventh year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular item on wish lists, requested by 61 percent of those surveyed.

Should you buy or lease property for your business?

Maybe you dream of owning a business, or maybe you're in the process of starting one up. When you're planning your business, make sure you consider not just where you would like to situate your company, but also whether buying or leasing is right for you.

What should you consider when making this decision?

You’re buying a house. Who pays the realty transfer tax?

While Pennsylvania does not have a mortgage tax or revenue stamps, it does have a realty transfer tax. When buying property, the tax is the responsibility of both the seller and the buyer. The tax is usually split between both participants.

Splitting the tax is usually easy because it often amounts to 1 percent for the state and 1 percent for local government and schools.

Holiday Presents

Every year we think of gifts to give our children or grandchildren during the holiday season. Your children or grandchildren may already have many of today's coolest gifts, ear buds, beats, iWatch, sunglasses or even a Canada Goose jacket. What to do, what to do???

This year, think about a gift that keeps on giving, funds for educational expenses. Many of my clients are already familiar with 529 Plans, but did you know you can also use a trust for educational expenses?

"Giving Tuesday" and Charitable Donations

Holiday time 2018 is upon us and, in addition to the gifts we'll give to family and friends, it's also a time to think about charitable giving. A 'Charitable Donation' is a gift made by an individual or an organization to a nonprofit organization, charity or private foundation. Charitable donations are usually in the form of cash, but can also be real estate, motor vehicles, appreciated securities, clothing and other assets or services.

Three Things You Should Know About Moving to a Nursing Home

Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month begins on November 1. Alzheimer's Disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks," according to the Alzheimer's Association. This disease affects more than 3 million people in the US each year.

Tax sales can be deals or disasters in disguise

If a homeowner or the owner of commercial property fails to pay property taxes, that property may eventually be sold by a city or county municipality at a tax sale (also known as a sheriff's sale or an upset sale). These sales are part of the foreclosure process as stipulated in Pennsylvania's Real Estate Tax Sale Act (RETSA).

In a tax deed sale, the property is often sold for the amount due in unpaid taxes, plus interest and fees. Acquiring a property at a deep discount may seem too good to be true; in some cases, it is. Veteran and inexperienced real estate investors alike have entered into tax sales they thought they researched thoroughly only to discover it wasn't the deal it appeared to be.

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Vinsko & Associates, P.C.

Wilkes-Barre Office
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