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With nearly 30 years experience handling delicate legal matters, Gary Stewart Seflin provides the sophistication and successful results of a large fir... (more)

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Vince Martini

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Dawn Getty Sutphin

Estate Administration, Gift Taxation, Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships
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Leslie J. Rase

Bankruptcy, Consumer Protection, Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate
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Deborah M. Truscello

Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury, Divorce, Wills, Slip & Fall Accident
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Jeff L. Lewin

Real Estate, Wills, Estate Planning, Estate, Consumer Rights
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Neil H. Meyer

Estate, Estate Planning, Wills & Probate, Estate Administration
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John H. Clark

Estate Planning
Status:  Deceased           Licensed:  70 Years

Kenneth S. Medzie

Bankruptcy, Criminal, Divorce & Family Law, Estate, Power of Attorney
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  43 Years

Gregory J. Spadea

Estate Planning, Criminal, Real Estate, Divorce & Family Law, Accident & Injury
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LEGAL TERMS

BENEFICIARY

A person or organization legally entitled to receive benefits through a legal device, such as a will, trust or life insurance policy.

COUNTERCLAIM

A defendant's court papers that seek to reverse the thrust of the lawsuit by claiming that it was the plaintiff -- not the defendant -- who committed legal wron... (more...)
A defendant's court papers that seek to reverse the thrust of the lawsuit by claiming that it was the plaintiff -- not the defendant -- who committed legal wrongs, and that as a result it is the defendant who is entitled to money damages or other relief. Usually filed as part of the defendant's answer -- which also denies plaintiff's claims -- a counterclaim is commonly but not always based on the same events that form the basis of the plaintiff's complaint. For example, a defendant in an auto accident lawsuit might file a counterclaim alleging that it was really the plaintiff who caused the accident. In some states, the counterclaim has been replaced by a similar legal pleading called a cross-complaint. In other states and in federal court, where counterclaims are still used, a defendant must file any counterclaim that stems from the same events covered by the plaintiff's complaint or forever lose the right to do so. In still other states where counterclaims are used, they are not mandatory, meaning a defendant is free to raise a claim that it was really the plaintiff who was at fault either in a counterclaim or later as part of a separate lawsuit.

IRREVOCABLE TRUST

A permanent trust. Once you create it, it cannot be revoked, amended or changed in any way.

ABSTRACT OF TRUST

A condensed version of a living trust document, which leaves out details of what is in the trust and the identity of the beneficiaries. You can show an abstract... (more...)
A condensed version of a living trust document, which leaves out details of what is in the trust and the identity of the beneficiaries. You can show an abstract of trust to a financial organization or other institution to prove that you have established a valid living trust, without revealing specifics that you want to keep private. In some states, this document is called a 'certification of trust.'

LAPSE

Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. S... (more...)
Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. Some states have anti-lapse statutes, which prevent gifts to relatives of the deceased person from lapsing unless the relative has no heirs of his or her own. A lapsed gift becomes part of the residuary estate.

TRUSTEE

The person who manages assets owned by a trust under the terms of the trust document. A trustee's purpose is to safeguard the trust and distribute trust income ... (more...)
The person who manages assets owned by a trust under the terms of the trust document. A trustee's purpose is to safeguard the trust and distribute trust income or principal as directed in the trust document. With a simple probate-avoidance living trust, the person who creates the trust is also the trustee.

NONPROBATE

The distribution of a deceased person's property by any means other than probate. Many types of property pass free of probate, including property left to a surv... (more...)
The distribution of a deceased person's property by any means other than probate. Many types of property pass free of probate, including property left to a surviving spouse and property left outside of a will through probate-avoidance methods such as pay-on-death designations, joint tenancy ownership, living trusts and life insurance. Property that avoids probate is sometimes described as the 'nonprobate estate.' Nonprobate distribution may also occur if the deceased person leaves an invalid will. In that case, property will pass according to the particular state's laws of intestate succession.

CERTIFICATION OF TRUST

See abstract of trust.

UNIFORM TRANSFER-ON-DEATH SECURITY ACT

A statute that allows people to name a beneficiary to inherit stocks or bonds without probate. The owner of the securities can register them with a broker using... (more...)
A statute that allows people to name a beneficiary to inherit stocks or bonds without probate. The owner of the securities can register them with a broker using a simple form that names a person to receive the property after the owner's death. Every state but Texas has adopted the statute.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Estate of Considine v. Wachovia Bank

¶ 2 Matthew Considine died on May 23, 2000. On June 2, 2005, the administrator of his estate [1] filed a civil action in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas naming Wachovia Bank [2] and Appellee Robert E. Rozinski defendants. The complaint alleged that Appellee was ...

In re Estate of Sauers

¶ 2 Pursuant to an employee group benefit plan, effective June 1, 1997, Paul J. Sauers, III, ("Decedent") obtained a $40,000.00 life insurance policy issued by the Hartford Life Insurance Company ("Insurer"). There is no dispute that the insurance policy is part of an employee ...

Estate of Hicks v. Dana Companies, LLC

¶ 1 This is a consolidated appeal from the judgment entered against Appellants, Dana Companies, LLC f/k/a Dana Corporation (Dana) and John Crane, Inc., f/k/a Crane Packing (Crane), in this products liability action initiated by Appellee, the Estate of Louis A. Hicks, ...