Philadelphia PA Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Dangers Of Doing It Yourself

Writing your own Last Will & Testament doesn’t seem like a bad idea at first. You can do it quickly, it’s relatively inexpensive, and you can create it online without ever having to leave the comfort of your couch. However, for most of my clients, a Last Will & Testament is only the beginning of an estate plan, not the estate plan. What I find is that, today, many families need to be concerned about asset protection, legacy planning and elder planning—none of which can be fully addressed using just a will.

Also, let’s face it—families are much more complex today than they were 20+ years ago.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Protect Your Assets

One of the top questions I get is, “How do I protect the inheritance I’m going to leave to my heirs or loved ones?” It’s a great question because it shows you’re thinking beyond just fundamental or basic estate planning. Instead, you are thinking about a legacy plan. With a legacy plan, asset protection is often used to ensure that what’s left to your loved ones isn’t squandered by future divorce, creditors, lawsuits, bankruptcy, spendthrift habits, addictions, etc. Asset protection is also used when a client is trying to protect part of the estate from being all spent on nursing home costs. 

Often times, asset protection planning involves the use of a trust.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Your Estate Planning Checkup

We’re quickly approaching 2018—doesn’t it seem like time just goes by faster and faster? Before the ball drops in a few weeks, take some time to do a quick checkup on your estate plan:

Locate Your Plan: Surprisingly, many people don’t remember where they put their Will, Power of Attorney, Trust, and other important documents. It’s a fundamental problem—if neither you nor anyone else can find the legal documents, what good are they? Use a fireproof safe at home to safeguard the documents—it’s likely you’ll remember they’re in the box. 

Review Beneficiary Designations: These are often overlooked, so you may have outdated or no beneficiaries on your accounts. Review your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities. Keep a list of your current beneficiaries on the accounts and when you last changed them.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Does A Medicaid Trust Make Sense?

Ensuring your loved ones inherit part of your estate even if you need long-term care (nursing home, round-the-clock home care, etc.) is important to many of my clients. But how are you able to preserve assets in the face of nursing homes and Medicaid spenddown regulations? You might consider adding a Medicaid Trust to your estate plan.

You may be reading and thinking to yourself, “What’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?” It can be confusing to a lot of us, so you’re not alone. But they are two completely different programs, and the one most folks know more about—Medicare—does not cover long-term care costs beyond a couple of months.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Critical Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid

As we rapidly approach the end of the year, it’s a good time to do a quick review of your estate plan before the holidays become too distracting. I see many critical problems with old estate plans, but fortunately when folks meet with me, I can correct the mistakes. Speaking of mistakes, here are three important ones that sometimes get overlooked in a lot of estate plans:

  1. Not Having a Power of Attorney: If you thought having a Last Will & Testament was all you needed for your estate plan, you are not alone. But that does not mean you’re right. Estate planning today also includes having to plan for potential incapacity and long-term care.

Read more . . .

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.

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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.


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 . . .

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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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