Wills vs. Trusts

People always ask, what is the difference between these two documents? Will or trust, I'm still leaving my assets to the people I care most about, right? Sure, that is true, but there are several key differences between the two.

Trusts are usually pieces of a larger puzzle. For instance, you may have sizeable assets...

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Gift Tax

The IRS recently announced that the annual gift tax exclusion will stay the same in 2021 at $15,000. If you're married, each spouse gets an exclusion so a married couple can gift $30,000 to each individual without creating a tax liability or necessity for reporting. Your annual exemption is per person, so if you have 3...
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Wills Are Public Documents

A lot of people ask our office what the difference is between Wills and Trusts. There are several key advantages to trusts, depending on your estate planning needs. One advantage to our readers who value privacy is that a well-crafted Revocable Living Trust, if properly written AND funded, can avoid the probate process. By...

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Ethical Wills

Why do we engage in estate planning? Most people would say their priorities in estate planning are protecting their assets and ensuring those assets get passed on properly.

However, we often miss the equally important goal of estate planning: passing on your values, hopes, fears, lessons learned, etc. to the next generation(s).

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The WealthCounsel Advantage

WealthCounsel is the premier estate planning organization in the United States. Quite simply, no other organization even comes close to the level of experience that WealthCounsel offers its several thousand estate planning attorneys. Asking whether or not your estate planning attorney is affiliated with WealthCounsel is crucial, because only WealthCounsel members have all of...
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Trust Planning and 2011

Here is some food for thought: If Congress doesn't pass a permanent federal estate tax fix soon, we are looking at perhaps 2010 staying at the $3.5 Million exemption, as it is more likely that they'll pass a one year fix. That's already passed the House and I think the Senate will probably pass it too. But...

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Eight Tips To Avoid Nasty Estate Surprises

Came across this article on USNews that concisely talks about how to avoid some common estate planning mistakes. Some ways to avoid the mistakes include finding the right estate planning attorney, picking the right executor and trustees, and make sure your title to your assets is clear. Check out the rest of the article...

Can I Write My Will By Myself?

On first blush, writing a will seems easy enough... leave my stuff to my loved ones, and simply write that on paper.

Based on that misconception, we often get calls asking if we would advise someone to write their will themselves. We cannot advise someone whether to do this or not, but...

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Paying PA Inheritance Tax is Not Optional

 

No one likes taxes, especially “death taxes” – many people fundamentally disagree with a system that taxes a dead person’s belongings that pass on to their loved ones. However, if you are a resident of Pennsylvania, and due to your death you pass property onto others, your estate and/or your heirs...

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