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.

 

Business Contracts: Negotiating Terms and Conditions

Business Contracts

As a law firm that does a lot of legal work for business owners of various sizes, we end up handling collection matters in which the business renders services to a customer and for which the latter does not pay. The business owner/client comes to our office to seek legal advice on how to collect that account receivable. The very first line of analysis is to obtain a copy of the agreement between the parties (hopefully, there is a written document, as opposed to a verbal agreement, and the parties have fully-executed same!). Once we obtain the agreement between the parties, the first thing we look for is the payment term…is payment due within a specific time period after the services are rendered/product delivered (i.e. 15 days for example)? If not, then the business owner is in a weak position to pursue collection. Make sure that the payment deadline date is clearly indicated in the agreement.

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How Does a Vacation Home Fit Into Estate Planning?

vacation home estate planning

You are meeting with your lawyer and discussing your estate planning.  The discussion expands from how your estate consists of current home, bank accounts and other probate assets.  You then begin to discuss your vacation home and what you intend to happen when you and your spouse pass away.  Most parents, and sometimes aunts and uncles with no children but very involved nieces and nephews, assume that the vacation home will pass to the next generation.  However, estate planning for a vacation home warrants a more in-depth discussion since there are issues that may not arise with the outright distribution of other assets. See the article in Elder Law Answers for more detailed information.

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OWM Blog – Your Tenant Has Vacated the Premises, What Now?

If you are a residential landlord in Pennsylvania and your tenant has vacated the premises either voluntarily, through a court-order evicting them and granting you possession, or absconding in the middle of the night – what are your obligations and responsibilities as landlord, if any, at this point in time? …

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OWM Blog – What is a Special Needs Trust?

Special needs trusts (also known as “supplemental needs” trusts) are an important component of planning for an individual with a disability. A special needs trust allows a disabled beneficiary to receive inheritances, gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds and yet not lose his or her eligibility for certain government programs, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Special needs trusts are drafted so that the funds will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary in determining his or her eligibility for public benefits. …

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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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