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Philadelphia PA Estate Planning Blog

Friday, August 11, 2017

With Estate Planning, Organization Is Key


If you have recently put together your estate plan, congratulations. An estate plan—whether it consists of a Will, Trust, another device, or some combination of those things—is imperative to leaving a positive legacy and making sure your estate is distributed the way you want.

And while you can pat yourself on the back, you don’t want to forget an important “non-legal” aspect of planning—that is, organizing everything so that your Executor, Trustee, and heirs can find everything and easily settle your estate.

I recommend a fire-proof safe at home to store key documents. That way, the documents will be close to you and more accessible to your Executor.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Long-Term Care: Should You Count On Uncle Sam's Help?


There’s no doubt about it:  long-term care planning is stressful and costly, causing many people to simply ignore it and hope for the best. But it’s to their detriment. Some private nursing homes can cost over $12,000 per month these days, and the cost of nursing care rises faster than inflation. When I speak to prospective clients and clients, I get a lot of anxious questions about long-term care and nursing homes, but my answers provide little desire to plan for this possibility. Why? Long-term care insurance is expensive, and many of my clients do not have ideal assets to establish a “Medicaid Trust”.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Five Things To Know About Legacy Planning


We did a lunch & learn last week on IRA Trusts, something you newsletter readers have read about, courtesy of me, all too often. IRAs are potentially great assets to pass on, but only if structured properly. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls with IRAs and inheritances.

One issue that comes up a lot, at these events and in meetings with my clients, is the desire to pass things along to heirs and beneficiaries, but the worry that comes along with that that the recipient will squander that gift.  Not too many people trust an heir, especially a young one, with a significant sum of money.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Last Minute Tax News & Tips For 2017


The IRS is pretty sure it owns the month of April.  Well, at least April 18th (not April 15th this year).  In the spirit of the tax day quickly heading our way, I have put together some (hopefully) useful tax information for you to recap where we’re at in the new Trump era.

Audits:

According to a Wall Street Journal article that you can


Read more . . .


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Making Sense Of Long-Term Care


Why don’t more people plan for long-term care? It’s probably one of the more difficult items to plan for due to the cost, the complexity and anxiety that comes with the thought of aging. Most people I talk to figure they’ll age gracefully, never leave their home and get in-home health care. While that is possible in more cases than ever today, nursing homes are at 92% occupancy in Pennsylvania and new ones continue to be built.

I’ve never talked to anyone who tells me they’re looking forward to going into a nursing home or that even wants to contemplate it. But for some folks, it’s a reality that they will face at some point.

Read more . . .


Monday, January 23, 2017

How Much Of Your Personal Information Is Unwittingly Accessible?


We just recently passed the 10th anniversary of the iPhone – a device a good many of us have become reliant on in our day-to-day lives ever since Steve Jobs introduced it back in 2007.  I know I love mine!
 
In the years since the phone’s introduction, we’ve seen must-have accessories introduced (wireless headphones!  iWatches!!), and we’ve seen helpful features added with each update.  One of the best features is the HealthKit – a bit of software added to the iPhone back with iOS 8 that allows the phone to do a number of health-related tasks. 

HealthKit can track the amount of steps you walk per day, for one, sync with other devices that can track information (the iWatch’s heartrate monitor, etc.) and it can also keep track of your medical information so that if you’re ever injured or incapacitated, medical staff can access that info quickly.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes


We’ve all heard at least one estate planning horror story.  Or we’ve seen one on TV.  The surprise mistress that is given a large cut, the one child that has been written out of a will or feuding family factions each producing a different copy of the will.  It all makes for great TV and great drama, but chances are, you aren’t leaving your estate to a secret lover and you don’t want your estate plan to create a lot of undue stress.  But despite your best intentions, there are mistakes you could be making – unknowingly – that could produce a lot of drama after you’re gone.


Read more . . .


Friday, October 14, 2016

Some Digital Tips To Staying Cyber Smart


With every emailed alert about a credit card you probably don't have, with every phone call pleading for money (and for bank account information), it is apparent that we live in a dangerous world.  It is also very apparent that the technology that makes our lives easier also makes us more vulnerable to fraudsters and attackers.  So we put together a few tips here that you should keep in mind whenever you're online, on the phone or on a mobile device.

1. Free WiFi Isn't Always Free

While it's easy to balk at the cost of hotel or airport WiFi, it's easy for a scammer to set up a "free" WiFi network and then watch every packet of information you send across it.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Legal Update


There’s a bit of news in the estate planning world that I thought I’d share with you this week:

1. Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Changes

There is currently a potential law (HB 971) working its way through the PA House and PA Senate to eliminate inheritance tax for property passing from a parent to children under the age of 21. We’ll continue to watch this and potentially other inheritance tax changes in the future. If this passes and is signed by the Governor, it could be a turning point for PA inheritance tax law. The inheritance tax is unpopular and many legislators want it on the chopping block.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Diving Into A Stretch IRA


As we move from the pension era of retirement planning to the self-directed era, IRA’s and other retirement accounts are becoming a larger part of many estates.  It's not uncommon anymore to have a client with more than half of their estate parked in IRA’s.  If that’s the case for you (or will be as time goes on), then the concept of a Stretch IRA is important to understand.

When a non-spousal beneficiary - that's anyone besides your current wife or husband at the time of your death - inherits your IRA, they have two options.  They can either take a lump sum distributions (all of it, at once, in a big check, paying all of the income taxes up front) or continue the IRA.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lost? Check Your MAPT!


Are you concerned  about affording long-term care in the future should you or your spouse need it?  Or worse, the possibility that your estate may be depleted as a result of the costs?  Nursing homes today in Pennsylvania cost over $12,000 per month.  If you stayed in a nursing home for five years, that’s $720,000!!  It’s impossible to say when, if and how long you’ll need long-term care.  But the fact is, for everyone, it’s a risk worth insuring against.

If you’re not keen on long-term care insurance or life insurance with a long-term care rider, or you can’t get underwritten, another idea to consider is the Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT).

The MAPT is a sophisticated way to shelter assets in advance of needing a nursing home.
Read more . . .


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The Law Offices of Jeremy A. Wechsler assist clients with Estate Planning matters in Willow Grove, PA as well as Abington, Hatboro, Dresher, Horsham, Bryn Athyn, Huntingdon Valley, Fort Washington, Jenkintown, Glenside, Oreland, Warminister, Wyncote, Ambler, Elkins Park, Flourtown, Philadelphia, Warrington, Cheltenham, Gwynedd Valley, Jamison, Feasterville Trevose, Richboro, North Wales, Blue Bell, Lafayette Hill, King of Prussia, Collegeville, Oaks, Phoenixville, Oxford Valley, Langhorne, Penndel, Bristol, Fairless Hills, Bensalem, Plymouth Meeting, Furlong, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Montgomery County.

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