Lebanon Pennsylvania Family & Estate Law Blog

Can a life insurance trust help solidify your estate plan?

Many people purchase life insurance policies so that they can help to provide for their family members even after they're gone. While this is noble, and usually a sound financial decision, it's imperative that you think carefully about how the insurance policy funds will be handled when you're gone.

One option is to set up a life insurance trust. This has several benefits that you and your loved ones might appreciate. It's imperative that you understand what this type of trust can do, as well as a few specifics about it.

Should parents give an equal inheritance among their kids?

Most parents will never admit they have a favorite child, no matter how often their kids beg to know. Most parents won't admit it because they don't have a favorite child. They love their children in different ways and maintain unique relationships with each of their children.

It makes sense to consider each unique relationship with your children as you're developing an estate plan and decide who receives which assets.

Durable power of attorney agents should be in your estate plan

Having a durable power of attorney is important for several reasons, but the primary reason is because it gives you the peace of mind of knowing that someone will be there to take care of your finances and estate if you are injured or unable to do so on your own. A durable power of attorney expires upon death, but until then, that individual can be granted the power to take care of you and your estate.

A durable power of attorney stays in effect when you are incapacitated. That means that if you are involved in a serious car crash and end up in a coma or are unable to manage your own finances due to dementia, for example, the agent you assigned will be able to take care of your personal matters for you.

How is theft defined in Pennsylvania?

The crime of theft can take many different forms. This is why it is defined in different ways under the law. Categories of theft also differ significantly between states. This article will focus on how theft is defined in Pennsylvania, and on the main categories of theft in the state.

If you have been accused of theft in Pennsylvania, you should immediately take action to understand the legal consequences that you could face and the steps you should take to defend yourself.

Estate planning: What is an incentive trust?

You can use a lot of different types of trusts when doing your estate planning. For instance, if you have an heir with special needs, you may consider a special needs trust to give them financial help without making it so they can't get government assistance. If you have an heir who is under 18, you may consider an age-based trust so that they do not get the money until they are old enough to handle it.

As you consider all of your options, one thing you want to think about is an incentive trust. Here's what it is, how it works and why it can help.

Have you planned ahead to connect with Medicaid if you need it?

If you are close to or past the age of retirement, you have probably spent a significant portion of your working life accumulating assets that could support you during your retirement years. From a financial nest egg to the equity in your home, you will likely rely on your savings to care for yourself as you age.

Unfortunately, longer life expectancies carry with them an often unanticipated negative consequence. Specifically, more adults may need intensive services as they age than in previous generations. From skilled nursing support that allows you to stay at home in your later years to residential care in a nursing home facility, your medical needs could quickly exceed the financial savings you have in place to protect yourself.

Should I create a will or a living will?

Many people are confused about the differences between a will and a living will and wonder which document best fits their situation. However, a will and a living will are not variations of the same document, like how a living trust is a specific type of trust. A will and a living will serve two completely different purposes, and it is likely that you could benefit from creating both.

Estate planning for the blended family

Everybody has a complicated family. For some that means drama or estrangement. For many, it means divorce, remarriage, and blended families. TV shows like Modern Family highlight that detail today, but it’s a long-running American concept – just think back to old episodes of The Brady Bunch.

Blended families are common. More than half of US families are blended, Forbes reports. When it comes to our autumn years and estate planning, it’s important to consider each family’s dynamics, and to make sure that the will or trust doesn’t have any loopholes or open ends. With an estate plan, you should plan for the worst – not because that it likely to happen, but to make sure that you have a process defined just in case. Given the complexity of blended families, that’s even more important.

Choosing the right executor for your will

Planning for your end-of-life needs is something many people tend to put off. It’s an uncomfortable topic that most people would prefer to avoid talking about. However, if you have a spouse, children or grandchildren, having a will and an estate plan is an important part of caring for the future needs of your loved ones.

When you’re creating your will, one of the decisions in the process is choosing an executor. The executor is the person or third party you designate to administer your will according to your wishes after you pass. An executor has considerable responsibilities, so you’ll want to choose wisely.

Deciding between revocable and irrevocable trusts

When you reach retirement age, you may begin thinking substantially about the many assets you have acquired throughout your lifetime. You know that you want to gift specific assets to certain loved ones, but you are unsure whether a permanent or changeable trust will prove best for your situation.

Two types of trust exist in Pennsylvania for allocating assets to your family members and close friends. Both revocable and irrevocable trusts have benefits, but they both provide peace of mind to those that enact a trust. Creating a document that protects and allocates your assets constitutes a responsible decision, so you and your beneficiaries can find comfort in knowing your property lies securely in a legal documentation. When developing a trust, it may prove beneficial to utilize the expertise of an estate planning attorney, so that he or she can help you in determining the best trust for your unique situation.

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Spitler, Kilgore & Enck, PC
522 S 8th Street
Lebanon, PA 17042

Phone: 717-769-1794
Fax: 717-273-1693
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