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Philadelphia PA Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Estate Planning Round-Up July 2020


SECURE ACT: Clients who have IRA Trusts and have not yet had a review in 2020 should take the time to schedule an appointment to review their trust in light of the SECURE Act. In January 2020, the SECURE Act was signed into law, and it changed, among other things, how inherited IRAs work. If you have established an IRA Trust, or IRA planning in general is a concern, please schedule an appointment with me.

DIGITAL ASSETS: Pennsylvania’s governor is on the cusp of signing a digital assets for estates law into place. This will standardize the process for Executors and Trustees to access digital assets when someone passes away.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Will COVID Change Long-Term Care Planning?


Arguably the biggest story to develop as a result of the Coronavirus is what’s happened in nursing homes. COVID has exposed the vulnerability that seniors face, as well as how nursing homes deal with pandemics and other health crises.

Even before COVID, no one that I ever spoke with looked forward to one day entering a nursing home. When I spoke to clients about it, they insisted they would never, ever go. I still advised them to take measures to protect their estate just in case, and many clients [grudgingly] would set up Medicaid Trusts, take out long-term care insurance or look at other planning options.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

7 Reasons To Plan Your Estate Now


In the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, is now the right time to consider updating or starting your estate plan?  Below are seven reasons I put together to consider why now may be the time. In no particular order:

1 – Concern About Future: For me, the pandemic has been eye opening in several ways personally, and many of my clients who have started their estate plans in the last couple of months say the same thing. Their concern for the future—and the unknown—has added urgency to planning.

2 – SECURE Act: The SECURE Act was passed in December, 2019—feels like a century ago, right? But it could change your estate plan, particularly if you have significant retirement assets. Get your plan reviewed to ensure it is SECURE Act optimized.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Medicaid Update & Medicaid Trusts


Even before the Coronavirus hit this winter, every client I spoke with was adamant about not going into a nursing home. Ever. Surely, the daily headlines of nursing homes being unprepared for this pandemic, resulting in thousands of deaths, isolation from loved ones and other problems will only make the idea of a nursing home even less popular.

A nursing home (skilled, 24-hour care) is not optional for some folks who have health issues in which staying at home would be a danger. If only we all had crystal balls that worked, and could tell us how long we’ll live and what our ailments will be, it would take the guesswork out of planning.

Read more . . .


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Long-Term Care Facilities & COVID-19


Some grim statistics have been in the news lately about the number of nursing home residents who have died from COVID-19. The New York Times reported last week that there have been at least 6,900 coronavirus related deaths in long-term care facilities, with more recent estimates numbering over 10,000.
 
Even worse, residents of Pennsylvania nursing homes make up a substantial percentage of that number. Remember, Pennsylvania has one of the largest senior populations in the country. 
 
The PA Department of Health reported these sobering statistics on April 22, 2020 regarding nursing home deaths from COVID-19 in our five county area:
 
Bucks County:  72
Chester County:  44
Delaware County:  74
Montgomery County:  157
Philadelphia County:  113
PA Total nursing home deaths: 845
PA Total deaths:  1,622
 
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has listed assessing the needs of long-term care facilities in the wake of COVID-19 as one of its current challenges.

Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Life Has Changed -- Estate Planning Hasn't


The Coronavirus pandemic has been a shock to the country, and to each of us individually. Even in good times, clients were anxious to get their estate plans completed. Now, the desire to get a plan in place is even more intense, especially for those on the front lines of this crisis. 

The best time to plan is in good times, when life is calm, and you have the freedom of time to make decisions at a settled pace. Conversely, death bed wills are terrible because the person is under duress, can’t think clearly, and typically another family member is calling the shots.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COVID-19 and Estate Planning


With COVID-19 and non-stop talk about the Coronavirus spread, is now the right time to start thinking about estate planning? Certainly, events like this force all of us to think about essentials--taking care of ourselves, our family, and making sure we have enough food and supplies. It is natural to want to put any non-essential task/project aside. I know I have done the same, preferring to use my time, energy and money for essentials right now.

My office is currently working virtually for the time being. Estate planning in Pennsylvania still requires documents to be signed, witnessed and notarized in person.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The State of Estate Planning

This year, estate planners around the country are dealing with the new SECURE Act that Congress passed and the President signed into law late last year. The SECURE Act went into effect on January 1 and makes several changes to retirement plans.

For clients hoping their children or loved ones would be able to “stretch” an inherited IRA out over his or her lifetime, the new law restricts the payout time to 10 years. Those who’ve added an extra layer of protection using an IRA Trust will have to consider modifying such a trust, while also considering new planning opportunities.

As I tell clients, estate planning laws change every few years.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Common Excuses for Estate Planning Procrastination

Procrastination with estate planning is common, but nonetheless unfortunate. Without a proper estate plan, you risk family conflict, placing a burden on loved ones during a difficult time, and ultimately leaving less money for the people you want to provide for. Having an estate plan is like having an insurance policy—you hope you never need it, but when you do, it’s there for you.  I have heard many excuses for failure to plan during my years of practice and describe a few of my ‘favorites’ below.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Fraud Galore: Unclaimed Money & Real Estate Scams

We are deluged with scams today — whether it be by email, mail or telephone. Always have your guard up and if in doubt, never give out your personal information! 

Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Essential Estate Plan

Let’s take a step back this edition and make sure you’re up to date on the essential estate planning components (for Pennsylvania residents). Think of estate planning like building a house. Every house needs a solid foundation, and that’s what I discuss below. However, you may require features such as a home office, an in-law suite, a two-car garage, etc. Just like building a house, each estate plan will vary. 

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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