Blue Bell Estate Planning Administration & Litigation Lawyers
Blue Bell Estate Planning, Administration & Litigation Lawyers Committed to Protecting Clients and Their Loved Ones
Many clients make the mistake of believing that if they don’t intend to leave an extensive multi-million dollar estate, estate planning is unnecessary. Although it is true that the federal rules governing estate taxes have been changed so that most ordinary people will not end up paying estate tax at the federal level, estate planning serves a host of other goals that are completely unrelated to federal income tax—not the least of which is planning for inheritance taxes at the Pennsylvania state level.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., our Blue Bell area estate planning, administration, and litigation lawyers are dedicated to helping clients see the comprehensive picture. While minimizing tax liability for future generations is important, estate planning is primarily about making sure that your loved ones are protected after you have passed away or are no longer in a position to make decisions for yourself. We work with our clients to develop individualized and comprehensive estate plans that will help both minimize conflicts and save money for loved ones in the future.
Blue Bell Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help You Understand that Documentation is Key to a Successful Estate Planning Strategy
Regardless of the size of your estate, several key pieces of documentation are critical to ensuring that your wishes are carried out if and when you are no longer able to make your decisions known. These include, but are never limited to, the following types of documents:
- Wills. A will is necessary for every estate plan, but many clients mistakenly believe that a will in and of itself is sufficient. In reality, wills are rarely sufficiently comprehensive to encompass the entirety of estate planning.
- Trusts. The type of trust that will be most beneficial to any client will depend upon that client’s asset structure and future goals for beneficiaries. Common types of trusts that we handle include education trusts, spendthrift trusts, credit shelter trusts, marital trusts (for example, QTIP trusts) and even charitable trusts.
- Powers of attorney. A power of attorney gives another person the right to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf once you are no longer in a position to do so. Establishing a power of attorney and designating a loved one to serve in this role can help minimize conflict if, for example, you need to be admitted into a nursing home and are unable to access the funds necessary because of physical or mental incapacitation.
- Advanced healthcare directives. Advanced healthcare directives, or “living wills”, provide instructions for your medical care that are to be followed if you ever become unable to communicate those wishes.
- Varying ownership structures. In some cases, creating a joint tenancy or simply adding another person’s name to an account or ownership papers can help minimize conflict at a later date. For example, naming a spouse or adult child co-owner of financial assets can allow them to access those assets easily at a later date, and can help you avoid the expensive probate process.
Dedicated Estate Planning Lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. Provide Comprehensive Estate Planning Guidance
Every estate plan is different, and while we diligently work to help clients both establish comprehensive estate plans and choose capable and trusted loved ones to serve as trustees, representatives, and holders of any powers of attorney, conflicts often do arise. These types of conflicts can result in years’ worth of costly litigation and create significant tension within a family.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we are dedicated to providing comprehensive estate planning advice to our clients, and this includes aiding in the resolution of any issues that arise after a loved one’s death.
Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Blue Bell Area Estate Planning Lawyer to Discuss Any of Your Planning Needs
Too often, we see family members and loved ones engaged in contentious battles over asset disposition after the death of a loved one—battles which would have been rendered unnecessary with proper advance planning. Whether you are just beginning the estate planning process, or have been named executor of a loved one’s estate and have questions about your administrative duties, our experienced estate planning and administration lawyers are here to help.
Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Blue Bell estate planning, administration and litigation lawyers to discuss your questions via phone, or you can send us a confidential email and we will respond promptly. For your convenience, we have two offices that are located at 2605 N. Broad Street, Colmar, PA 18915 and 12 Penns Trail, Suite 145, Newtown, PA 18940. We offer free and convenient parking to all of our clients.
About Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania is a 5.4 square-mile census-designated area in Montgomery County, located about 22 miles northwest of Philadelphia’s Center City. Blue Bell was originally named Pigeontown but was eventually renamed for the Blue Bell Inn in 1840. The area is known for its large homes, shopping facilities and small business community and, today, Blue Bell is one of the most affluent areas in Montgomery County with a median household income of about $115,541 per family.
Pennsylvania is one of the few states that continues to levy an inheritance tax. Although the rules are complex, inheritance taxes generally apply based on who is named beneficiary of the estate. Estate taxes, on the other hand, apply regardless of who inherits the assets and are generally predicated on the size of the estate—in other words, a certain level of assets will be “exempted” from estate tax at the federal level (that amount changes each year, but is just over $11 million per person under the new tax reform law).
Under Pennsylvania law, individuals are divided into classes based on their relationship to the deceased. Children, grandparents, and parents may be eligible for a $3,500 exemption (i.e., these assets are not taxed) and pay a 4.5 percent tax on inherited assets. Relatives including brothers and sisters do not receive an exemption, and the rate of tax is increased to 12 percent. Surviving spouse beneficiaries are exempt from the inheritance tax, as are charitable organizations. Our experienced team of estate planning lawyers can help you understand the more intricate details of the inheritance tax, as well as help plan to avoid or minimize the tax while ensuring all of your loved ones are protected.