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.
Probate and trusts are generally governed by state law. Some of the laws come from centuries-old practices. Some are the result of someone’s mistake — legislatures like to close the barn door after the horses have bolted. There are also uniform laws that states have adopted as their own; the Uniform Law Commission develops them based on best practices that have emerged over the years.
The federal government is not entirely out of the picture, of course. What would a discussion about estate planning be without a few words about the federal estate tax?
Estate planning is not really about the laws, though. Estate planning is about one person’s hopes and wishes for the future. It is about taking care of that person’s family after he or she is gone. It is about handling that person’s health care decisions in a way that will follow specific instructions without putting a loved one in an impossible situation. It is all about looking forward and looking back.
In some cases, state and federal law can help that person reach his goals. In others, the law may stand in the way of getting something done. This is where our expertise comes in.
The attorneys and paraprofessionals that make up the estate planning team at Larmore, Scarlett LLP are well-versed in the probate and trust laws of Pennsylvania. We know the benefits and traps of the federal tax code. We also know how to listen carefully to clients and to partner with them on their estate plans.
Please contact us if you have a question about your estate plan, trust administration or concerns you may have about a loved one.