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  • 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.
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CURRENT NEWSLETTER

 

April 2017

In This Issue...

Five Dangers of DIY Estate Planning Researching estate planning online may give you some good general information; however, filling out a fill-in-the-blank Will or Power of Attorney form without consulting an attorney is hazardous.

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News Archives


March 2017

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Answers to various questions regarding Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements.

February 2017

Consider Limiting Liability in Conducting Your Business Conducting business in an unincorporated, sole proprietorship form may offer the conveniences of little expense or formality typically associated with conducting business through a limited liability entity, but there are drawbacks to this approach of which you should be aware.

December 2016

The Basics of Pennsylvania Estate Administration Common questions from many estate planning clients are “what is probate” and “how do I make sure my family doesn’t have to probate my estate.” Unfortunately, there is a lot of misconception with regard to the probate process.

November 2016

The Social Security Disability Application Process An informative overview of the application process for applying for Social Security Disability.

October 2016

Top Five Issues In Commercial and Residential Leases It is extremely important that landlords and tenants pay close attention to details when negotiating Leases, both commercial and residential. Here are the top five (5) common mistakes that landlords and tenants make in commercial and residential Leases.

September 2016

Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Elder Law is the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons as well as persons that have a disability, their representatives and families.

August 2016

OWM Law Commemorating 10 Year Anniversary in Phoenixville The law firm of O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C. was founded in 1955 and has been operating out of their original office location in Pottstown at 41 E. High Street in Pottstown for the last 61 years. In January 2006 OWM Law opened an additional, fully-staffed office, at 347 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA. By expanding its legal practice to Phoenixville, OWM Law has been proud to continue its long-standing tradition of service to individuals, businesses and charitable organizations throughout the Phoenixville Borough and the entire Tri-County area.

July 2016

Primer on Non-Disclosure (Confidentiality) Agreements A Non-Disclosure Agreement, or Confidentiality Agreement, is a legal contract between two or more parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge or information that the parties wish to share, but to which they want to restrict access.

May 2016

Tax Assessment Appeals – Are Your Real Estate Taxes Are Too High Because of an Inaccurate Assessment of Your Property? Over the last decade there have been severe economic impacts to the value of real estate in Pennsylvania as well as the rest of the United States. Those severe impacts to the value of real estate have caused inaccurate assessments of commercial and residential real estate.

April 2016

Consider Limiting Liability in Conducting Your Business Conducting business in an unincorporated, sole proprietorship form may offer the conveniences of little expense or formality typically associated with conducting business through a limited liability entity, but there are drawbacks to this approach of which you should be aware.

March 2016

Title Insurance - What Is It and Do I Need It? A summary of what title insurance is and not only why mortgage lenders require same but also why you should purchase coverage even in a cash transaction.

February 2016

Pennsylvania's Protection From Sexual Violence and Intimidation Act The Protection From Sexual Violence and Intimidation Act (“PSVI”) is a new law which went into effect in Pennsylvania on July 1, 2015. The PSVI law gives additional protections to victims of sexual violence and intimidation who may not be covered under Pennsylvania's Protection From Abuse Act.

December 2015

Top Five Issues In Commercial and Residential Leases It is extremely important that landlords and tenants pay close attention to details when negotiating Leases, both commercial and residential. Here are the top five (5) common mistakes that landlords and tenants make in commercial and residential Leases.

November 2015

Pottstown Community Update During last month and this month, OWM Law will be focusing on the communities where our offices are located – Pottstown and Phoenixville – and provide some insight as to what is going on in these two communities. This month, we will be focusing on Pottstown.

October 2015

Phoenixville Borough Update During this month and next month, OWM Law will be focusing on the communities where our offices are located – Pottstown and Phoenixville – and provide some insight as to what is going on in these two communities. This month, we will be focusing on Phoenixville.

September 2015

Estate Planning: One-Size Does Not Fit All Having an estate plan means more than “one-size fits all” documents that you can print from the internet.

August 2015

Social Security Is Here to Stay An overview of Social Security on its 80th birthday.

July 2015

Custody Issues: Grandparent Custody and Parental Relocation An explanaton of custody issues related to grandparent custody and parental relocation.

May/June 2015

Tax Assessment Appeals – Is It Time For You To Determine If Your Real Estate Taxes Are Too High Because of an Inaccurate Assessment of Your Property? Over the last decade there have been severe economic impacts to the value of real estate in Pennsylvania as well as the rest of the United States. Those severe impacts to the value of real estate have caused inaccurate assessments of commercial and residential real estate.

April 2015

Non-Competition and Similar Agreements in Pennsylvania An explanation of restrictive covenants in Pennsylvania, including non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure and the requirements therefor.

March 2015

Pennsylvania's New Law on Powers of Attorney: How Does it Impact You? A summary of Pennsylvania's new law on Powers of Attorney and how it impacts you.

February 2015

Ownership of Rental Property One of the main issues to be addressed when considering purchasing and operating a rental property is who will own that property.

January 2015

Social Security Retirement and Disability Planning A person who takes early retirement as a replacement for disability is taking a major loss in income.

December 2014

Child Custody - Holiday Schedules A few points to keep in mind when planning for custody over the holidays.

November 2014

Business Structures and Operations: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Corporations and LLCs An explanation of the different types of business entities and related business planning issues.

October 2014

Death and Taxes: Three Things You Need to Know Answers to three important questions regarding death taxes and non-probate assets and the probate process.

September 2014

How Important is our Social Security Disability Program? Could we, as a country, survive without our Social Security Disability Insurance? Some facts and myths regarding the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

August 2014

Estate Planning After Divorce Estate planning is an essential step in the divorce process. Careful attention must be afforded to the complex issues that may arise when dealing with an estate plan where a divorce action is pending or has been finalized.

July 2014

Highway Funding and Distractive Driving An explanation of the transportation funding bill entitled Act 89 which Governor Corbett signed in 2013 and information regarding distractive driving as it pertains to text messaging and cell phone conversations while actively driving a motor vehicle.

June 2014

Tax Assessment Appeals - Are Your Real Estate Taxes Too High Because of an Inaccurate Assessment of Your Property? The basics of real estate tax assessment appeals.

May 2014

Long-Term Care Planning The topic of long-term care planning can be uncomfortable for many.

April 2014

Automobile Insurance Coverages for Your Family and Your Vehicles - Part 2 Important information regarding automobile insurance coverages, including bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

March 2014

Automobile Insurance Coverages for Your Family and Your Vehicles - Part 1 Important information regarding automobile insurance coverages, including the "full tort" vs. "limited "tort" option and medical coverages.

February 2014
Restrictive Covenants? "Non-Compete" and "Non-Solicit" Agreements in Pennsylvania, With a Dash of "Non-Disclosure" Too An explanation of the various types of restrictive covenants that you may encounter if you have worked for someone else or sold a business. Also includes a second article on Spousal Portability, which provides the ability for a surviving spouse to take advantage of a deceased spouse's unused tax exemption.

January 2014
Protection From Abuse Answers to questions regarding the Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act.

December 2013
'Tis The Season To Be Driving Under the Influence An outline of the punishments associated with a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania.

November 2013
Planning Ahead: Why Your Estate Plan Should Be More Than a Simple Will Important information regarding long-term care planning, including pre-planning and crisis planning, and the key documents requisite to such planning.

October 2013
Child Custody - Holiday Schedules Important information regarding the development of a holiday schedule, considering the children's needs, and keeping communications open and being flexible.

September 2013
Basics of Estate Administration Important information regarding the basics of estate administration, including probate, duties of the personal representative, tax issues and distribution of assets to the heirs.

August 2013
New Pennsylvania Support Guidelines An explanation of the new Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, including the increase in support obligations.

July 2013
Tax Assessment Appeals - 2013 Update It is your legal right to challenge the value the county has placed on your property, but it is up to you to avail yourself of this opportunity if you think you have been unfairly assessed.

June 2013
Tax Assessment Appeals Are your real estate taxes too high because of an inaccurate assessment of your property?

May 2013
Legal Issues Affecting the Motoring Public Important information from AAA regarding legal issues important to the motoring public, including octane testing, texting ban and cell phone use.

April 2013
Business Structures and Operations: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Corporations and LLCs An explanation of different types of business entities and issues related thereto.

March 2013
Medicare Improvement Standard/Medicare Appeals Information on the recent change in the Medicare Improvement Standard, and an explanation of how to file a Medicare appeal.

February 2013
Restrictive Covenants? "Non-Compete" and "Non-Solicit" Agreements in Pennsylvania, With a Dash of "Non-Disclosure" Too An explanation of the various types of restrictive covenants that you may encounter if you have worked for someone else or sold a business.

January 2013
Divorce Law - Frequently Asked Questions Answers to the basic questions that are often asked regarding the divorce process in Pennsylvania.

December 2012
Owning a Condo Versus Owning a Townhouse - What's the Difference? An outline of the differences between owning a condo and a townhouse.

November 2012
Estate Planning Regardless of the "Fiscal Cliff" Every individual should have certain documents in place regardless of whether or not we "go over the Fiscal Cliff."

October 2012
Estate Planning for the "Fiscal Cliff" The importance of estate planning relating to the pending "Fiscal Cliff" and ways to build flexibility into your estate plan.

September 2012
Ensuring the Continued Success of your Business Though Business Succession Planning The importance of business succession planning, including personal estate planning and business planning.

August 2012
Prenuptial, Postnuptial & Cohabitation Agreements An informative discussion of issues related to Prenuptial, Postnuptial & Cohabitation Agreements.

July 2012
Ensuring the Continued Success of Your Business Through Business Succession Planning A discussion of business succession planning and the process of defining and clarifying your future intentions and objectives, including the examination of a number of facets impacting both your business and personal life.

June 2012
Tax Assessment Appeals Are your real estate taxes too high becvause of an inaccurate assessment of your property?

May 2012
Recent Legislation Supported by AAA The advancement of AAA-suported legislation regarding “distracted driving” and “teen driver crashes."

April 2012
Elder Law, What is it and How Does it Affect Me? An overview of Elder Law practice, including estate and tax planning, Medicaid planning, Medicare and other insurance advice, dealing with incapacity, long term care, veterans benefits, and housing questions.

March 2012
Educating and Empowering Children Against Abuse Important information provided by Dr. Lori Stauffer on how to educate and empower your children to reduce their risk of sexual abuse, bullying and other types of victimization.

February 2012
Are You a "Mandated Reporter" of Child Abuse? A discussion on child sexual abuse: how to recognize and report suspected abuse and proposed changes to child protection laws.

January 2012
Top Ten Reasons Do To Estate Planning - Estate planning, even basic estate planning in the form of a Last Will and Testament, Durable Financial Power of Attorney, and Health Care Power of Attorney with Living Will, is often overlooked or not completed by many individuals. Here's the top ten reasons to do estate planning.

December 2011
PA's Health Club Registration Act and Your Health Club Membership Agreement - An overview of PA's Health Club Registration Act and the provisions your Health Club Membership Agreement should contain.

November 2011
Can I Work While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?- The effects of work activity on Social Security Disability.

October 2011
OWM Lawyers Huddle Up: Firm Reorganizes to Better Serve Clients - OWM decides to reorganize itself internally into eight client service teams that are made up by lawyers and staff.

September 2011
A Primer on Limited Liability Companies - The basics of forming/operating a Limited Liability Company in Pennsylvania.

August 2011
Cell Towers – Successfully Objecting to a Proposed Celltower May Have Become More Difficult - Discussion on the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

July 2011
Social Security Disability Update - Update on Social Security Disability Benefits, including processing of claims and tips for success in a disability claim.

June 2011
Automobile Insurance - Right to Sue; General Liability Insurance for Motor Vehicles - What are your options when purchasing automobile insurance? How much insurance coverage should you have on your motor vehicles?

May 2011
Multiple-Party Accounts Act As To Joint Accounts Passing to Surviving Owners - Are jointly registered accounts, specifically "convenience accounts," controlled by the Multiple-Party Accounts Act (MPAA)?

April 2011
HUD-1, HUD-2, HUD-3... Are Real Estate Settlement Sheets Easier or Harder to Understand - How did expanding the settlement sheet from two pages to five pages make it more understandable? Do I need an attorney to come with me to a real estate settlement to explain the settlement sheet?

March 2011
Tax Assessment Appeals - Stop Overpaying the Real Estate Taxes Actually Owed on Your Property - The default computer generated Assessed Value on your tax bill is almost half the Fair Market Value, leading many homeowners to believe they are being fairly taxed, when in fact they are paying extra taxes every year!

February 2011
PA's New Independent Contractor Law - Construction companies and contractors in Pennsylvania now have a new law to comply with in providing construction services within the Commonwealth; Ryan A. Costello, Esq., appointed Chester County Commissioner.

January 2011
Child Custody and the New PA Custody Law - Act 112 is intended to "reform" current law, including provisions that strengthen current practices and confirm judicial decisions, such as requiring judges to provide an explanation of their custody decisions, and the addition of "Parenting Plans."

December 2010
Federal Estate Tax - Careful estate planning may allow structuring of a person's estate in a manner to reduce the possibility of imposition of the federal estate tax, as well as allow for greater use of available deductions.

November 2010
Pennsylvania Expungement: Wiping the Slate Clean - An expungement simply means the removal of criminal convictions from a person's criminal record, including arrest records, indictments, formal charges, and criminal complaints. This article discusses the types of information that may be expunged, and who is eligible.

October 2010
Transferring the House to the Children - Families frequently ask about transferring the parents' house title to an adult child or children to "save the house from the nursing home." There are many reasons for not transferring the title of the parental home to the children.

September 2010
The Importance of Pre-Negotiated Agreements in Closely-Held Business Entities - Most parties in a closely-held business want to limit who may participate in that business with them. This article discusses the types of agreements that protect those interests.

August 2010
Parking or Storage of Business Vehicles on Residential Property - A homeowner should not assume that parking or storage of business vehicles at the owner's residential property is permitted under the local zoning ordinance - or risk sanctions and financial penalties.

July 2010
Extension of Home Buyer Tax Credit - This article provides examples of recent changes in real estate law, including reduction of interest rates and the extension of governmental approvals until 2013, and how these changes may be beneficial to individuals who own or are looking to purchase or develop real estate.

June 2010
Why So Many People Are Denied Social Security Benefits -  If denied Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits at the application level, the claimant in Pennsylvania may wait for over a year to have their case appealed. For that reason, people are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney before making their initial application.

May 2010
Drunk Driving - What You Need To Know - If you are convicted of drunk driving or plead guilty to the charge in Pennsylvania you may receive up to two years in jail. To be guilty of DUI, you must have a minimum blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, and that is what this article is about.

April 2010
Supreme Court Reverses Superior Court and Rescues Jointly-Registered Financial Accounts - Is a joint account, such as a joint checking account, savings account or certificate of deposit, legally owned by the surviving co-owners upon the death of the co-owner who contributed all the funds to the joint account? YES. Do the provisions of a prior Will change this result? NO.

March 2010
Changes to the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors' Standard Form of Agreement of Sale - These changes expand the inspections provisions, make mediation mandatory, and affect how a seller's assist would be applied, among other changes; also Changes to the Real Estate Settlement Protection Act Good Faith Estimate and Settlement Sheet.

February 2010
Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act - This Act will affect contractors providing home improvement services, as well as the homeowners who sign contracts for home improvements, and provides additional protections to homeowners by placing certain duties and requirements upon contractors.

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