Acheson Legal - http://achesonlegal.com Professional attention to your personal and business needs in the law Tue, 26 Jul 2016 19:53:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://achesonlegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/cropped-amy-photo1-32x32.jpg Acheson Legal - http://achesonlegal.com 32 32 Credit Reporting Security Freeze: Is It the Right Tool for You? http://achesonlegal.com/credit-reporting-security-freeze-is-it-the-right-tool-for-you/ http://achesonlegal.com/credit-reporting-security-freeze-is-it-the-right-tool-for-you/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 04:47:56 +0000 http://lillicotch.com/acheson/?p=110 If you are concerned about identity theft or unauthorized credit lines, consider taking advantage of the protections of the Pennsylvania Security Freeze law. Here we outline some of the factors a Pennsylvania resident should consider when deciding whether to place a security freeze on your credit.

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If you are concerned about identity theft or unauthorized credit lines, consider taking advantage of the protections of the Pennsylvania Security Freeze law. Here we outline some of the factors a Pennsylvania resident should consider when deciding whether to place a security freeze on your credit.

A security freeze (sometimes called a credit freeze) lets you prevent, in advance, the credit bureaus from disclosing your credit information or report. This is important because in the event an identity thief tries to obtain a credit card in your name, the credit card provider will run a credit report check. If the credit bureau cannot obtain your credit report because it is under a freeze, the unauthorized credit application will likely be denied.

Pennsylvania has enacted a specific credit freeze law. The law provides for you to freeze your credit so that the credit bureaus will refuse to release your credit report or any information from it. This freeze only applies to new credit inquiries occurring after the freeze is effected and made without your authorization. A freeze will not stop your existing credit cards from working.

Under Pennsylvania’s current version of the law, the freeze goes into effect five (5) business days after the credit reporting agency’s receipt of your freeze request. The cost is $10 to each of the three credit reporting agencies, unless you are over 65 or already the victim of identity theft.

After the freeze is effective, you can unlock the freeze either temporarily for certain purposes (such as for a mortgage loan application or a new line of credit), or you can remove it entirely. Therefore, you will need to temporarily unlock the freeze if you are applying for new loan or credit card.

However, you should be aware that a credit freeze can also prevent insurance companies or employers from obtaining your credit data. If you are actively seeking a job or additional insurance, you should be alert to this potential. In those circumstances, you may decide to delay placing a new freeze, or if you already have a freeze, you should temporarily release it for those purposes.

To effectively take any of these actions, you must correspond with all three credit reporting agencies.

Click here for the applicable links to the credit reporting agencies’ freeze sites. Although this information was current as of the date of writing, the links and specific requirements may change, and the current addresses and requirements should be verified. Clicking any of these links will take you to a third party site which is not under our control and we are not responsible for its content.

Experian Security Freeze

Equifax Security Freeze

Trans Union Security Freeze

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Administering an Estate http://achesonlegal.com/administering-an-estate/ http://achesonlegal.com/administering-an-estate/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 04:46:40 +0000 http://lillicotch.com/acheson/?p=108 If you serve as an executor, administrator or other fiduciary, you have numerous legal duties and will be acting in a fiduciary capacity. Fortunately, you are entitled, normally at the expense of the estate, to retain an attorney to guide you through the necessary steps, which will vary depending upon the assets and the heirs.

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If you serve as an executor, administrator or other fiduciary, you have numerous legal duties and will be acting in a fiduciary capacity. Fortunately, you are entitled, normally at the expense of the estate, to retain an attorney to guide you through the necessary steps, which will vary depending upon the assets and the heirs.

We assist you throughout the process, from beginning to end, or starting at any point along the way. We assist in performing the estate administration, including for example, the following typical tasks:

  • Locate and obtain the original, if available, or copy of the decedent’s latest Will and other testamentary or otherwise relevant documents.
  • Read the Will and other applicable documents to understand the provisions and bequests.
  • File a petition with the court to admit the Will to probate.
  • Identify the decedent’s assets.
  • Locate and give formal notification to heirs and/or beneficiaries.
  • File necessary court documents relating to notification of heirs/beneficiaries.
  • If the decedent had a safe deposit box, arrange for a meeting with the Department of Revenue to open the box and make follow-up arrangements to dispose of contents.
  • Consult with banks and savings and loans in the area to find all accounts of the deceased. Also check for cash and other valuables that may be hidden around the home.
  • Transfer, as necessary, securities to the estate’s name and continue to collect dividends and interest on behalf of the beneficiaries of the deceased.
  • If needed, obtain a Federal Tax ID number for the estate.
  • Locate and secure all real estate deeds, mortgages, leases, and tax information.
  • Provide immediate management for rental properties.
  • Arrange ancillary administration for out-of-state property.
  • Collect money owed the deceased.
  • Locate, inventory and secure personal and real property.
  • Collect life insurance proceeds due and payable.
  • Find and safeguard all business interests, vacation homes, and other properties.
    • Arrange for appraisal for valuables as necessary.
    • Determine liquidity needs. Assemble bookkeeping records. Review investment portfolio. Sell appropriate assets.
  • Pay valid claims against the estate. Reject improper claims and defend the estate, if necessary.
    • File income tax returns for the decedent.
    • Determine whether the estate must file federal tax returns; if so, arrange for timely preparation and filing.
    • Prepare and file state death and/or inheritance tax return.
    • Prepare statement of all receipts and disbursements. Pay attorneys’ fees and executor’s fees.
    • Allocate specific bequests and the remaining assets.
    • File court documents necessary to close estate administration.
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What You Need to Know: Current Situation on the Federal Estate Tax http://achesonlegal.com/what-you-need-to-know-current-situation-on-the-federal-estate-tax/ http://achesonlegal.com/what-you-need-to-know-current-situation-on-the-federal-estate-tax/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 04:45:09 +0000 http://lillicotch.com/acheson/?p=104 We will assist you in understanding and evaluating current Federal Estate Taxes and other estate issues. To make the most of your money, we retain and work with top accountants and tax specialists, as needed, to properly and efficiently navigate your particular situation.

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Background: In 2001, President Bush signed legislation on the federal estate tax. In basic terms, the law raised the dollar amount of the exclusion from tax over the span of ten years while also cutting the rate of taxation on taxable estates. This gradual increase in the excluded amount of estate assets subject to the federal estate tax was effective through December 31, 2009.

Under that law, the tax disappeared completely for deaths in 2010. Also, the “step-up” in basis for capital gains on inherited assets was eliminated for 2010; capital gains taxes will be due based on the cost basis from the original purchase price of the inherited assets, subject to a $1.3 million exemption.

The public and tax professionals assumed that Congress would enact new legislation before the end of 2009 to “fix” that nonsensical situation. Not only did that not happen, Congress did not acted on the question of the federal estate tax.

In 2011, the federal estate tax returned to a $1 million exclusion with a tax rate of 55%.

Please contact us to discuss your current personal situation in regard to this critical Estate issue and others.

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