OWM Legal Newsletter

OWM's legal newsletters are free for all users. Browse the archives below, or sign up at right to receive OWM news in your inbox.

  • News and reviews of recent legislation - and how it affects you and your business.
  • Practical tips regarding taxes, estate planning, scams, identity theft protection, and many other timely subjects.
  • Advance listings for our Legal Talk television broadcast, plus other upcoming events.

 

Title Insurance and Title Reports: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

title insurance

As previously indicated, some of the attorneys at OWM Law (including yours truly!) are title agents for Fidelity National Title Insurance Company. In addition, we have a Title Coordinator and Title Assistant whose number one priority is helping the attorneys and their clients with real estate transactions, title searches and closings, conveyancing, etc. We provide “added extra value” to our real estate buyer clients by also providing them with title insurance, and conducting real estate closings. We utilize the same title insurance premium rates that all other licensed title insurance agents apply, while, at the same time, being more than competitive with all of the other real estate closings costs (i.e. notary fees, document preparation, fax transmissions, wire costs, etc.). During the course of our legal representation of real estate buyers, and the provision of title insurance, we provide the client/title insurance customer with a Title Insurance Commitment (i.e. title report). We encourage our clients, and title insurance customers, to feel comfortable to ask any and all questions that they have regarding what is usually the biggest purchase in their lives (i.e. their home or a real estate investment). Amazingly, a lot of real estate buyers never ask us anything about the title report.

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OWM Blog – Special Needs Planning: 2018 Tax Changes to ABLE Accounts

On December 22, 2017, new tax legislation was signed into law by President Trump. The new tax law impacts ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) plan accounts for the 2018 tax year. Modeled after 529 college savings accounts, ABLE accounts allow individuals with qualifying disabilities and their families to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses. The federal tax-free savings and investment options are offered to encourage individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds to support health, independence and quality of life. The annual contribution limit for an ABLE account for 2018 is $15,000. The contributions and the tax-free growth of the contributions may be used by individuals with a disability for “disability related expenses” without interfering with the individual’s eligibility for public benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. …

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Don’t Drink and Drive this Holiday Season

dui lawyer pa

‘Tis the season for eggnog, champagne, mulled wine and Driving Under the Influence.  The holiday season is the time of merriment, joy and sometimes unwanted stress.  When traveling the roads of Chester County and Montgomery County, please be sure that you are not getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.  Many people travel long distances on unfamiliar roads to visit friends and family members that they have not seen in a while and partake in a libation or two or five in the tradition of old Fezziwig from A Christmas Carol.  But unlike the horse and buggy days where the horse can get you home no matter how inebriated you might be, when operating a vehicle, you should have nothing in your system.  State and local police will be on extra patrols and on the lookout for the potential inebriated driver.  It is very important that if you consume alcohol in any vast quantities, that you do not get behind the wheel of a car as you are putting yourself and others in great danger – as well as opening yourself up to the possibility of being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

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Child Custody Schedules for the Holidays

Child Custody Schedules

The holiday season will soon be here! Under the best of circumstances, parents may have conflicting work schedules and other complications during the holidays, but it becomes even more difficult when you have two – or more – families who have to coordinate holiday celebrations.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when planning for custody over the holidays:

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The Problem with Real Estate Transactions and Powers of Attorney

Real Estate Transactions and Powers of Attorney

I do not know why, but we have seen, and experienced, an unusual uptick in the use of Powers of Attorney by people buying and selling real estate. I do not know if it is a coincidental increase in the frequency and will pass as an anomaly, or whether the public is expecting that real estate transactions will be held remotely, through a Power of Attorney, as opposed to the “old model” of everyone showing up at the settlement table. Powers of Attorney are, of course, appropriate when either the Seller (most likely) or the Buyer (less likely) are incapable of attending closing by reason of living out of state/out of the country, traveling or incapacitated by a medical condition. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more instances of Powers of Attorney being used by people who just plain do not want to be bothered with attending closing. This creates a problem.

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Do I Need to Wait One-Year Before I Can be Officially Divorced?

Divorce Waiting Period in PA

Divorce Waiting Period in PA

I recently spoke to a client on the phone about his divorce, and he asked me “Do I really need to wait one-year before I can be officially divorced?” I hesitated before giving him an answer that lawyers are notoriously known for: It depends.  Pennsylvania is a no-fault state which means neither spouse needs to prove “fault” or marital misconduct on the part of the other.  To obtain a divorce, a spouse must merely assert incompatibility or irreconcilable differences, meaning the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  However, grounds for a no-fault divorce must still be established.

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OWM Blog – How to Prepare for a Divorce Consultation

You’ve scheduled a consultation with a divorce attorney. Now what? For many clients, it’s their first time meeting with a family law attorney – maybe any attorney for that matter– and they have no idea what to expect. This article will help to prepare you for that initial meeting. …

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What You Need to Know About Commercial Real Estate Leases

Commercial Real Estate Leases

Commercial real estate leases are a typical business expense, and many are quite complicated. Often leases are recycled by landlords, but are the basic terms of the lease correctly stated? Is there a letter of intent or term sheet? If so, the lease, as drafted, should conform.

Continue reading What You Need to Know About Commercial Real Estate Leases