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November 2014 Archives

The usefulness of trusts in estate planning

Exemptions for federal estate taxes continue to rise to the point that they are not an issue for most middle-to-upper-income people who plan to leave money to their heirs. Nevertheless, federal estate tax still represents a very big problem for wealthy Pennsylvania residents. The state of Pennsylvania also has what is called an inheritance tax that heirs must pay when they receive money and assets from a deceased benefactor. Traditionally, trusts have been used to help individuals avoid such taxes, and trusts are still very useful today -- not just for avoiding estate and inheritance taxes, either.

What happens to my assets if I don't leave a will?

Thinking about your own death can be a scary thing for most people. Because of its finality, a lot of people try to avoid thinking about it until the very last minute. This can sometimes mean though that people will put off handling many of the end-of-life things that are most important to complete before it's too late. One of these things is making a will.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the best beneficiary of them all?

We often encourage people to review their beneficiary forms to make sure the right people are named and all of their personal information is as current as possible. Just remember that a life insurance policy is not the only piece of your estate that has a beneficiary: Your IRAs do, too.

Administering an estate? You don't have to do it alone

If you have been named as executor to the estate of a friend or family member, then you're undoubtedly going through a range of emotions while also dealing with estate administration. This is an understandably difficult time, and it is a good idea to have a lawyer to help you probate the estate. Having legal help is especially important if an executor doesn't live in the county or state where the will is probated.

Thinking about common estate planning mistakes

Any number of life events can get individuals thinking about the end of life. Illness, the death of a loved one, marriage, the birth of a child and even the holiday season can be triggers that inspire individuals to begin estate planning. Estate planning is a critical process which allows you to make your wishes known in regards to end-of-life care, how your assets should be distributed in the event of your death, who should assume guardianship if you and your children’s other parent can no longer care for them and a host of other issues.

Trusts, estates, tax laws - what are we doing here?

We have covered a lot of territory in the last few months. Powers of attorney, trusts, estate planning mistakes and strategies -- all good information, if we do say so ourselves. All of these subjects are good topics for conversations with an estate planning attorney, too.

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Larmore Scarlett LLP

Larmore Scarlett, LLP
123 E. Linden Street,
P.O. Box 384

Kennett Square, PA 19348

Phone: 610-444-3737
Fax: 610-444-9532
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