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Blog Posts in 2013

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How to Smooth Over Wills, Estates and Trusts Issues

In wills, estates and trusts law, it is not uncommon to come upon situations in which a person's life is not what you would call conventional. That may be the case with a Swissvale, Pennsylvania ...
Continue reading "How to Smooth Over Wills, Estates and Trusts Issues" »

Retain Your Estates Value Through Federal Estate Tax Exemptions

Federal Estate Tax Exemption Inheritance and estate tax are possibly the most misunderstood portions of the tax code. Hyperbolic political terms like “death tax” add to the confusion, but ...
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What is a Living Will?

The simple answer to that question is that a living will is a written statement detailing an individual's wishes regarding medical treatment when that person cannot express consent. Guidelines in ...
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Elder Law: Living Environments

Elder law, simply put, is anything that has to do with seniors. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys sums elder law up as: living, financial, health and long term care planning for older adults ...
Continue reading "Elder Law: Living Environments" »

Power of Attorney: How to Choose

Choosing who should be your agent, or have power of attorney is an important decision. You are choosing a person to make legal decisions on your behalf. You want to think about this decision, talk ...
Continue reading "Power of Attorney: How to Choose" »

Five Ways To Plan for Charitable Giving

As discussed in the Forbes.com article there are ways to save so you will be able to give after retirement. For many people who have actually sat down, and developed a financial plan, they do not find ...
Continue reading "Five Ways To Plan for Charitable Giving" »

Are You Asking The Right Questions When Preparing Your Living Will?

You may or may not be familiar with the term " advance medical directive." For those who are not, it's a general term describing a legal document allowing someone you appoint to give ...
Continue reading "Are You Asking The Right Questions When Preparing Your Living Will?" »

Student Loan Discharge in Bankruptcy: How do you prove undue hardship?

Student loans generally can't be discharged through bankruptcy. So don't simply file for Chapter 7 in the hopes of unburdening yourself of your student loan debt; you may still be stuck with ...
Continue reading "Student Loan Discharge in Bankruptcy: How do you prove undue hardship?" »

Understanding Payable on Death Account Pros and Cons

Payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) is a rule that was enacted in the late 80s with help from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Florida is one of the states ...
Continue reading "Understanding Payable on Death Account Pros and Cons" »

Five Things You Should Know About Student Loan Forgiveness and Other Debt Solutions

According to the Federal Reserve Board of New York, there are approximately 37 million Americans who have outstanding student loans. Faced with a slower economy and mounting debt, many individuals are ...
Continue reading "Five Things You Should Know About Student Loan Forgiveness and Other Debt Solutions" »

Avoid the Necessity of Multiple State Probate Proceedings

We all have nightmares, of one sort or another. One of the down sides to our work is that we get to hear about a lot of the nightmares that come true. One of the up sides to our work is getting to ...
Continue reading "Avoid the Necessity of Multiple State Probate Proceedings" »

Facing Financial Difficulties - Five Factors to Consider Before Filing Bankruptcy

When there are money problems, it may seem as if you are falling into a hole you can't get out of. Often times they may think that filing for bankruptcy is their only solution. However, that may ...
Continue reading "Facing Financial Difficulties - Five Factors to Consider Before Filing Bankruptcy" »

Review Your Estate Plan Regularly and Update Whenever Necessary

Consider this scenario...Erica and Tyler developed their first estate plan in their late thirties. They had two kids who were 10 and 15 at that point in their lives, and the parent's chief desire ...
Continue reading "Review Your Estate Plan Regularly and Update Whenever Necessary" »

A Look at Payable on Death Account Pros and Cons

A payable on death account (POD) is a quick, cost free vehicle to pass on unlimited amounts of cash assets to a designated heir without going through probate. Known as a poor man’s trust, a POD ...
Continue reading "A Look at Payable on Death Account Pros and Cons" »

How to Bounce Back After Foreclosure

There are so many foreclosed homes on the market, and more are on the way. You did everything you could to stop foreclosure from happening, and it happened anyway. It's an unfortunate situation ...
Continue reading "How to Bounce Back After Foreclosure" »

Living Trusts Avoid Necessity of Probate in Multiple States

As the probate process becomes more streamlined across the country the use of living trusts is diminishing. There are still circumstances when a living trust can be a useful tool to settle your estate ...
Continue reading "Living Trusts Avoid Necessity of Probate in Multiple States" »

Alternatives to Bankruptcy: Is Being Judgement Proof Your Whole Life the Best Safeguard?

If you're in trouble financially and considering a bankruptcy filing, know that you have many more alternatives to bankruptcy available to you. While some of them you may have heard about, ...
Continue reading "Alternatives to Bankruptcy: Is Being Judgement Proof Your Whole Life the Best Safeguard?" »

The Importance of Writing a Will

At the Law Offices of James C. Shields, we specialize in three types of wills : testamentary, pour-over, and living wills. Our job is to facilitate the process of writing a will and ensure that it is ...
Continue reading "The Importance of Writing a Will" »

Protect Your Vehicle in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Exemptions and Using Your Car Equity

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you'll want to protect your vehicle at all costs, especially if it's the only one you have for transportation. And you can do this by using certain ...
Continue reading "Protect Your Vehicle in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Exemptions and Using Your Car Equity" »

When Fair Isn't Equal: Consider a Pot Trust for Your Kids

A part of estate planning that's unpleasant to think about, but needs to be addressed, is how you would provide for your children if both you and your spouse were to pass away. If your children ...
Continue reading "When Fair Isn't Equal: Consider a Pot Trust for Your Kids" »

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Student Loans

Nearly all debtors do not have the authority to discharge a student loan debt. However, you can experience this benefit by proving that repayment of a student loan would cause hardship. It is possible ...
Continue reading "Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Student Loans" »

Estate Planning Trends: From Multi-Generation Planning to Digital Assets

Estate planning trends are beginning to change slightly as the estate tax rate starts to become permanent and families begin managing more assets digitally. It could forever change the way people plan ...
Continue reading "Estate Planning Trends: From Multi-Generation Planning to Digital Assets" »

Actions You can Take to Protect Assets Against Repossession

If you’ve recently suffered a financial hardship, you may have gotten behind in some of your payments. This could spark fears of losing your property; however, there are several things you can ...
Continue reading "Actions You can Take to Protect Assets Against Repossession" »

How the DOMA Decision Affects Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

With the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8, you and your same-partner can finally plan your in-state wedding. Once you get married, you're entitled ...
Continue reading "How the DOMA Decision Affects Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples" »

Prevent or Stop Foreclosure in California

There are few things that are more overwhelming than realizing you’re facing foreclosure. Unfortunately, it’s a reality too many Americans have found themselves dealing with in recent ...
Continue reading "Prevent or Stop Foreclosure in California" »
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    We promise to represent your best interests and keep you fully informed.

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    Get a FREE eBook to become more familiar with the bankruptcy process.

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    Click here to access a list of our firm's videos.

    Get More Information
  • When You're Ready To Talk

    We're ready to listen. Contact us to receive a free initial consultation.

    Request a Consultation

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