Philadelphia Estate Planning Headquarters 2021

Has it been more than 5 or 10 years since you have reviewed your estate plan? In the last several years, laws and regulations have changed in Pennsylvania and across the country that could effect your estate plan.

  • Has it been more than five years since you updated your estate plan? If so, get it reviewed by an attorney immediately.
  • Recent laws may affect your plan, particularly H.B. 1429, which will changed how powers of attorney must be written starting in 2015.
  • In 2020, the SECURE ACT passed, which changed how inherited retirement accounts are passed onto heirs. Most heirs now have 10 years to distribute the account, whereas before, they could stretch distributions out over their lifetime (this was better, because they could defer the taxes over their lifetime!). We can help you learn how to plan even in the face of this new law.
  • Major changes to your family, such as marriage, divorce, addition of new children or grandchildren all warrant immediate estate plan reviews. Having an outdated plan may be worse than having no plan at all.
  • Do you have children that are having difficult times with work, their life, etc., that may effect how you plan your estate? Asset protection is increasingly important in the modern estate plan to protect your loved ones from themselves and others. Many estate plans do not incorporate even basic asset protection measures. We can help you put these in place today to protect your family and keep your estate in your bloodlines.
  • Gifting: In 2021, you can give as many people as you want $15,000 per year without paying taxes or filing a gift tax return (Form 709). Youa lso have a lifetime exemption for gift and estate tax (unified credit) of $11.7 million. But be careful: Medicaid still imposes a five year look-back period, even on gifts allowed by the IRS. Gifting should be very carefully done. Gifting can present enormous benefits, but it must be done with the advice of a professional. Gifting has tax, asset protection, and long-term care implications.
  • Have you reviewed and updated your beneficiary designation forms on IRA’s, Life insurance policies, 401(k)’s, annuities, and other accounts with a beneficiary form? 
  • Have you considered how you will plan for a 30+ year retirement? You must consider income planning, safe investment tools and life insurance. 
  • Do you give to certain charities, and don’t have them included in your estate plan but want to give something upon your death?
  • Have you considered how you will deal with your pets if you become incapacitated or pass on?
  • Are you confident your plan will work when it is needed, so that there is a smooth transition from you to your loved ones?
  • Have you considered tax-free wealth transfer strategies for your estate? Pennsylvania inheritance tax can wipe out as much as 15% of your estate.

If any of the checklist items concern you, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office. Call us today at (215) 706-0200 for a 30 minute express complimentary review.