What is a Testamentary Trust?


In Pennsylvania, many clients opt to use a Will rather than a Revocable Living Trust for their estate plan. Living Trusts can be beneficial in certain situations. Your attorney can speak to you about when a living trust may be appropriate. In Pennsylvania, living trusts are not appropriate simply to avoid probate, since the Pennsylvania probate process is not burdensome.

Although a living trust may not be advisable for your family, many people still want to control the inheritance they leave to their children or grandchildren, ensuring it gets to the right person and is used for the right purposes. In other words, give what you want, to whom you want, when you want.

Unfortunately, we livein a litigious society – assets held in certain trusts can be better protected for your heirs. Also, beneficiaries that are spendthrifts, in high risk professions, too young, have spouses that you can’t trust, etc. all are good reasons to think about trusts. 

For clients with these concerns, we can use testamentary trusts, or trusts within a will. The trust is not actually established until death, when your will is executed. The instructions for the trust are written into your will, and once your will is probated, the specified assets and amounts will be used to fund a new trust. At that point, your options are unlimited – perhaps you want to give a yearly percentage of assets to a child, or maybe provide only for their education and health. At our firm, we can help you customize your trust based on your needs and concerns.

You may already have a testamentary trust in your will, but it may not do what you really want it to do. Let us know if we can help you review your current estate plan.

To determine what type of trust is right for you, give us a call now at (215) 706-0200 or email info@jawatlaw.com. We can schedule your complimentary consultation right now.