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Philadelphia probate law and commercial litigation blog

Leaving a legacy when you don't have children

Everyone should consider the legacy they want to leave at the end of their lifetime, whether they have children or not. In fact, having no heirs to leave your estate to can mean that it is even more important to plan out your estate. This is because it can be significantly more challenging to get your affairs in order.

If you do not have children and if you live longer than your spouse, the assets that you have at the end of your life will be difficult to distribute. Additionally, you may be unsure whom you would like to leave your estate to at the end of your lifetime.

Federal government quietly pushing back against abusive bank fees

For many people, banking seems like a necessary evil. They don't relish the idea of needing to store their money outside their home or pay someone to access it, but the security and convenience of a bank account is almost necessary. While it is possible to get by without a bank account, that usually means that you have to pay a lot of money to cash checks and purchase money orders to pay bills.

The fees and costs associated with a standard bank account may seem reasonable compared with the hassle that people have to go through to avoid opening a bank account. In some cases, however, the bank actually has an abusive or inappropriate policy for fees that ends up having a negative effect on customers.

Planning for care at the end of your life should start early

No one enjoys contemplating the end of their life or health as they age. The avoidance of this unpleasant reality is one reason that people give for failing to adequately plan for their needs as they get older.

Many people put off creating an estate plan or last will for far too long, leaving themselves and their loved ones vulnerable if something unexpected happens. Another mistake that people make far too often is the decision to avoid planning for the potential of health issues as they age.

Should you use GAAP or non-GAAP reporting?

Part of owning a business is accounting for income and expenses and there is more than one way to do this. For example, you can follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or choose a non-GAAP method such as cash basis accounting. The format you choose is going to affect the net income you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the numbers you provide to current and potential investors.

It is important that you choose an accounting method that provides a reasonable level of transparency and reports your business activity in the most accurate way possible. In other words, choosing the wrong accounting method could be misleading. Here are a few things to know about GAAP versus non-GAAP reporting so that you can choose the accounting method that fits your business.

Is planning for extended life expectancy wise?

Right now, no matter when you read this, we are living in the future, a future that is much more complicated than the people trying to envision it even 40 or 50 years ago could imagine.

One of the most significant changes of the modern world is that child mortality has dropped immensely, while life expectancy has increased. This means that more of us are making it to adulthood, and once we do, we are, statistically, living longer lives.

How often should you update your estate plan?

You finally created your estate plan. Sitting down and hashing out all the details was a lot of work, but now that your estate plan is set, you can rest easy knowing you and your family will be taken care of if something should happen.

However, your work is not done yet. While a large part of the work of estate planning is in creating it, you still need to update your plan periodically in order for it to be the most effective.

Are you prepared for the challenges of owning a business?

You have recently started your own business, or you are preparing to start one. You feel excited but nervous for this new chapter in your life. In addition to handling the many day-to-day aspects of establishing a business, you also spend a lot of time worrying about the challenges that your new business may face.

Business ownership is not for the faint of heart. The majority of small businesses will eventually go under, unless the owner is proactive in anticipating the numerous problems that plague small businesses. In this post, we will go over a few of these obstacles and address what you can do to prevent or manage them.

Is it unlawful for employees to hide information?

Over the last few years, the world of banking has had its fair share of controversies. Allegations against the Wells Fargo & Company continue to surface. Red flags went up when some clients started to notice unanticipated fees, credit and debit cards and lines of credit. Investigations uncovered that employees were creating fraudulent savings and checking accounts on behalf of the bank.

Should you begin estate planning early?

As a young individual, you know there are plenty of areas in your life that require immediate attention. Maybe you still have some student debt to pay off, or you are looking to upgrade from an apartment to a house. Based on how you have seen your family or society work, you might have a certain set of expectations on when to place your financials at different points in your life.

However, there are some aspects in life that require long term planning. While there has been more attention placed around saving for retirement, that is not the only part of life that can benefit from early planning. You can also start estate planning as early as your 20s, however most Americans do not practice it. Over half of the country does not have a will or trust in place, and there are only 22 percent in the 18 to 36 demographic that do. The major question asked by millennials is what do they have to benefit from early estate planning.

Do this before starting a business with your spouse

You have a bright idea, plenty of enthusiasm and you make a great team. Why not go into business with your better half?

Going into business with your spouse or partner can be tricky. Before setting up shop, you and your future business partner should have a frank discussion about your new venture. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:


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