Estate planning allows people to provide direction about the disposition of their assets before they die and after their death. Estate planning can include wills and trusts, as well as powers of attorney and other documents. Both Pennsylvania Law and federal law impact estate planning, and some may find that more elaborate or creative legal means are necessary to achieve their desired outcomes. Some of these more complex techniques include family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs). Estate tax and other estate-related issues are hot legislative items. That's why a competent and experienced eldercare law firm like Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak is essential in assuring that your unique estate planning goals are understood and carried out. If you have estate planning-related legal questions, please feel free to call Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak at (800)351-8334 today.
Estate planning is important for everyone, no matter the size of the estate. Estate planning allows a person, while they are still living, to ensure that their property will go to the people they want, in the way they want, and when they want. It permits them to save as much as possible on taxes, court costs, and attorneys' fees - plus, it means that their families will have an easier time coping with the administrative and financial aspects of the loss.
All estate plans should include, at minimum, two important estate planning instruments: a durable power of attorney and a will. Medical directives can also be part of an estate plan; a health care proxy, a durable power of attorney for health care, a living will, and medical instructions are documents to consider. These documents help with medical decisions should a person become incapacitated and unable to express his or her preferences.
Although no one wants to think about the “what if”, it is important that we all have a living will to relieve our families of the tough decisions they could possibly face. If you do not have a will or a living will, and it is important to you that your family is taken care of or not burdened should something happen to you, it is vital you contact an experienced, certified elder law attorney. Please call (800)351-8334 if you have any questions or if you are ready to start an estate planning program.
Proper estate planning is important because it can help to increase the size of an estate, whether large or small. The purpose of a good estate plan is to:
- Choose how property will be distributed after death
- Assure that property will be distributed in an orderly and efficient way
- Minimize estate and inheritance taxes
Most estates pass to beneficiaries free of federal estate tax, when an estate plan is done properly. A spouse can leave an unlimited amount to a surviving spouse without having to pay federal estate tax. Currently, people can leave other survivors up to $5,450,000 (2016) without paying federal estate tax. This amount will be raised to $5,490,000 in 2017. In addition to federal estate tax, Pennsylvania inheritance taxes must also be considered.
In addition to reaching financial goals to provide for their beneficiaries, comprehensive estate planning includes ensuring one's security and peace of mind during their lifetime. To that end, asset protection strategies, health care directives, powers of attorney, and other estate planning devices are an integral part of the services that an estate planning attorney will provide. Although wills and trusts are the foundation of solid estate planning, businesses and tax planning may also play a role in developing the best possible plan in a given case.
A professionally developed estate plan can be highly creative and tailored to meet the specific goals of each person. It is important that you consult an experienced Elder law attorney who will explain in detail all the options you have when it comes to creating an estate plan. Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak located in Williamsport and in State College, Pennsylvania, is experienced in all types of estate planning, estate administration and elder law. If you have questions or concerns about estate planning or elder law, contact Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak today by calling (800)351-8334.
No matter the size of a person's estate, every adult should protect themselves and the interests of their loved ones by developing some type of estate plan. For some people, this will be a will and durable power of attorney for health care and property. For others, a combination of a wills, trusts, business formation, and other estate planning devices will be in their best interest. If you have questions about estate planning or need to have estate planning documents drafted, contact Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak to ensure that your unique estate planning needs are met.
We have offices located in Williamsport and State College, and offer in home appointments to those who cannot travel.