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Lancaster PA Probate and Estate Administration Law Blog

Inheritance tax: Exemptions for Farms and Small Businesses: Fourth and Last in a Series

Effective for decedents dying after July 9, 2013, there is a new inheritance tax exemption for qualified family-owned businesses. The law provides: "A transfer of a qualified family-owned business interest to one or more transferees is exempt from inheritance tax, if the qualified family-owned business interest . . . .continues to be owned by a qualified transferee for a minimum of seven years after the decedent's date of death."

Inheritance tax: Life estates, elections, exemptions and the early payment discount

Part III of this series on the Pennsylvania inheritance tax deals with the taxation of future interests, the sole use trust election, the family exemption and the early payment discount.

Do You Claim You are Domiciled in Florida? How to Change Domicile

It's time for the snow birds to think about their migration to Florida and other parts south. Man folks make a great deal out of staying for exactly 6 months and a day. They think that being in a state for more than half the year makes them domiciled in the state. Maybe yes, but maybe no. It depends.

The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Life insurance and retirement plans compose the largest part of the estate for many people. Insurance death benefits, IRAs, Annuities, and 401(k)s do not pass under your will. They pass under contract law to those persons or organizations who are designated as the beneficiary.

Safe Deposit Boxes

safe deposit box.JPGYou have probably heard that a safe deposit box is "sealed" when the owner dies. This is not true in Pennsylvania. Safe deposit boxes are not sealed. In fact, the box is the safest place for your will, life insurance policies, stock certificates, and other valuables. Far from being sealed, the box is opened, following proper procedures, to search for documents that are needed at the time of death.

How the Government Shutdown Affects the IRS

In anticipation of a government shutdown, the Treasury Department announced on September 27 procedures for the IRS and other agencies under its jurisdiction in the event of a government shutdown after the end of fiscal year (FY) 2013. Only 9 percent of the IRS's personnel are allowed to work.

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