By Jonathan Russell of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Motorcycle Accidents on Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The aftermath of an accident can be tragic and could involve a lengthy recovering for the victim of the incident. The injuries involved in amotorcycle accident can be serious and often fatal. The safety features involved on a motorcycle differ from those included in an automobile. When a motorcycle crash does occur, the chances of a driver or passenger on the bike being thrown off is much greater than a driver or passenger being tossed outside of a vehicle. Wounds such as brain injuries, broken limbs and road rash often result in motorcycle collisions. Because these vehicles are smaller in size, they can sometimes co unnoticed by some drive, particularly if the motorcycle is driven in or near a blind spot. This makes is especially important for all drivers to take caution when changing lanes. A New York woman is still recovering over a motorcycle accident that occurred over a year ago in Pennsylvania. The accident happened when a tractor made a sudden turn in front of her. This caused the woman to be thrown into the air, and it was purported that her leg was still attached to the bike due to it being stuck in the front spokes. This ultimately resulted in her losing her right leg. The people who initially stopped for her accident happened to be a doctor and then a nurse. She considers herself very lucky and she […]
Monthly Archives: March 2013
By Jonathan Russell of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Wrongful Death on Monday, March 25, 2013. No matter what type of vehicle a person is driving or is a passenger in, accidents can happen at anytime and anywhere. A motor vehicle collision could result with several victims, serious injuries and even fatalities. There could be a cause of action for a wrongful deathespecially if liability is determined in the incident. The investigation surrounding the incident can be lengthy and emotional, particularly for those involving fatalities. The family of the deceased is not only mourning the death of a loved one but they could also be enduring financial burden associated with the accident. Police continue to investigate the bus accident that involved the players and coaches of a woman’s lacrosse team from Seton Hill University. The bus collision occurred when the bus veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike causing the bus to crash into a tree. The collision resulted in two fatalities one being the driver of the bus who died at the scene of the accident and the other being a pregnant coach who died later at the hospital. The cause of the fatal bus accident has not been determined and preliminary investigation ahs not revealed any speculations. It is not known if the bus driver is liable or if another vehicle was involved causing the bus to veer off the road. A person killed in a bus accident like this could have a wrongful death claim filed by […]
By Jonathan Russell of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, March 21, 2013. Residents of Pennsylvania might witness accidents on the roadway ranging from fender-benders to massive fatal accidents. Even in a car accident that involves only two vehicles, the damages could be immense, and the injuries could be severe. Early morning and evening commutes are often the culprits for incidents due to rush hour and the heavy traffic going to and from work. During these times, it is important that drivers watch their speeds as well as their distance between their vehicles and the ones ahead of them. An accident that occurs during high-traffic times can often lead to multi-vehicle accidents involving several vehicles and numerous victims. An accident occurred in West Lawn and involved two vehicles. At around 9 p.m. on March 13, the two-car collision happened at Penn and Woodside Avenue. When emergency crews responded to the accident, they assessed those involved in the collision. One of the drivers was injured and was transported to the hospital. The seriousness of the injuries and the current conditions of the drivers are not known. Traffic remained tied up in the area for about 15 minutes while the accident site was cleared. The cause to the crash has not been determined at this time, and details surround the incident have not be released at the time of this reporting. The investigation is ongoing. A person injured in an accident like this could seek compensation through […]
By Jonathan Russell of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Monday, March 18, 2013. Residents across the nation may witness delays, traffic and road closures due to accidents on the roadway. A pedestrian accident can cause a very graphic and tragic accident site, which will often require that the roads be closed while emergency crews tend to the incident and authorities begin investigating the incident. The details surround the accident may not always be clear, and when there is a fatal pedestrian accident, police attempt to effectively and timely complete their investigation for the mourning loved ones of the deceased pedestrian. At around 10:51 a.m. on March 9, police responded to a call about a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle. The incident occurred on Interstate 83 near the 13th Street exit in Harrisburg when a vehicle struck a man who was walking on the north shoulder of the southbound lanes. The impact from the collision caused the man to be tossed over the barrier landing in the northbound lanes of the interstate. No cars in the northbound lane hit the man when he landed. Emergency crews responded to the pedestrian-vehicle accident, but the man who was struck by the vehicle did not survive the injuries he suffered from the collision. The investigation of the crash is still ongoing, and the driver of the vehicle that struck the man is cooperating with authorities in the investigation. No citations or changes have been issued at this time. A […]
The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax is imposed as a percentage of the value of almost any transfer from the estate of a decedent who was a resident of Pennsylvania. It does not matter whether the transfer occurs due to a gift (specific or residuary) under a Will to a beneficiary, by virtue of intestacy to an heir, or by operation of law to a transferee. The tax rate varies depending on the relationship of the beneficiary, heir or transferee to the decedent. The rates for Pennsylvania inheritance tax are as follows: 0 percent on transfers to a surviving spouse or to a parent from a child aged 21 or younger; 4.5 percent on transfers to direct descendants and lineal heirs; 12 percent on transfers to siblings; and 15 percent on transfers to other heirs, except charitable organizations, exempt institutions and government entities exempt from tax. Property owned jointly between husband and wife is exempt from inheritance tax. Effective for estates of decedents dying after June 30, 2012, the Pennsylvania inheritance tax for farming families, previously levied when property was transferred from one generation to the next or between family members, is eliminated. Inheritance tax payments are due upon the death of the decedent and become delinquent nine months after the individual’s death. If inheritance tax is paid within three months of the decedent’s death, a 5 percent discount is allowed. Preparation of the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return can be tricky. At Drake, Hileman & Davis, we have been helping individuals successfully […]
Unless there is a Will contest or other litigation, a probate estate should take about one year to administer from the date of death of the testator of the Will. There are several deadlines that affect the length of a probate proceeding, including: (1) the deadline for filing notice of the probate proceeding; (2) the one year creditor claim period; and (3) the nine month deadline for filing the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return and, if required, the Federal Estate Tax Return. If a Will or the proceeding are contested, administration of an estate can take much longer. At Drake Hileman & Davis, we work hard to avoid contests if at all possible. Please contact one of the helpful and experienced attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis for an evaluation of the estate and an assessment of the amount of time required for probate administration. Click here to contact us regarding probate, estate or trust administration matters. Avoid expensive probate mistakes, delays and unnecessary litigation. Contact an estate administration lawyer at the Doylestown law firm of Drake, Hileman & Davis for helpful legal advice and satisfying results.
Probate costs are paid out of the funds of the Estate as an expense or administration, at least in the case of a solvent estate. You should not have to pay for attorney fees or other costs, expenses or fees of probate or administration out of your own pocket. Contact Drake, Hileman & Davis for an assessment of the fees, costs and expenses of probate or estate administration and the best means for paying same. Click here to contact us regarding probate, estate or trust administration matters. Avoid expensive probate mistakes, delays and unnecessary litigation. Contact an estate administration lawyer at the Doylestown law firm of Drake, Hileman & Davis for helpful legal advice and satisfying results.
In Pennsylvania, there is no legally prescribed amount for fees payable to the probate lawyer or commissions or fees payable to the executor or administrator of the estate. However, all fees and commissions must be “reasonable” in amount. At Drake, Hileman & Davis, we believe that lawyers should charge by the hour for their work and that a law firm should employ qualified paralegals to do as much of the work as possible in order to keep fees reasonable. Some lawyers charge a fixed fee for estate administration work based upon a percentage of the gross value of estate (regardless of debts). We believe that such an approach may result in a windfall payment to the lawyer. The fees paid to the Register of Wills for opening probate are also based on the value of the Estate and vary from county to county and have tended to increase over the years. We can help you with a quick calculation of how much probate might cost you. Please contact the law firm of Drake, Hileman & Davis for an evaluation of whether or not probate of the estate is necessary, and for a careful estimate of what the fees, costs and expenses of probate will be. Click here to contact us regarding probate, estate or trust administration matters. Avoid expensive probate mistakes, delays and unnecessary litigation. Contact an estate administration lawyer at the Doylestown law firm of Drake, Hileman & Davis for helpful legal advice and satisfying results.
There are many different kinds of trusts, and trusts can serve many different purposes. Some trusts are created during the life of the person who creates the trust (known as the “Settlor”). They are called “inter-vivos” or “living” trusts. Other trusts are created under the Will of a testator. They are called “testamentary” trusts, and don’t come into effect until the testator dies. A revocable living trust can be used to avoid probate, either in whole or in part, depending on whether all of the probate assets of the Settlor are titled to the Trust before the Settlor dies. A testamentary trust, on the other hand, requires probate of the Will before the testamentary trust can be established and funded. However, regardless of the type of trust, Pennsylvania’s version of the Uniform Trust Act (“UTA”) requires trustees to comply with various requirements. Failure to do so can result in substantial penalties. At Drake, Hileman & Davis we have the experience and expertise necessary to handle the administration of all kinds of trusts, including living and testamentary trusts. Click here to contact us regarding probate, estate or trust administration matters. Avoid expensive probate mistakes, delays and unnecessary litigation. Contact an estate administration lawyer at the Doylestown law firm of Drake, Hileman & Davis for helpful legal advice and satisfying results.
A Will should be in writing (printed or typewritten), signed by the person making the Will (called the “testator”), dated, and signed in the presence of two disinterested witnesses and a separate disinterested notary public, all of whom must be of legal age and all of whom must be present at the same place and time and observe each of the other participants sign the Will. The document should clearly state that it is the testator’s Will. In order to make a valid Will, the testator must be of sound mind (that is, not subject to any undue influence, duress, coercion or fraud). If the Will meets all of these tests it is valid and may be properly probated. A Will that is not acknowledged by a Notary Public is still valid, but it will not qualify as a “self-proving” Will. In that case, the witnesses will need to appear before the Register of Wills and verify the testator’s signature on the Will. If the Will is handwritten (a holographic Will), then it must be entirely in the testator’s handwriting. It can’t be partially typed. The handwritten Will must be dated and signed at the end, and the testator has to be of sound mind. If it meets all of these tests, it does not need to be witnessed to be a valid Will. Contact us at Drake, Hileman & Davis for an evaluation of any Will, particularly if you are uncertain if the Will is valid or can or […]