Pennsylvania residents looking to plan for the future of their estates may be wondering if they should set up a will or living trust. According to legal experts, it all depends on a person's circumstances.
Married couples at or over the age of 50 in Pennsylvania and around the country are divorcing at higher rates than younger couples according to some studies. Researchers from Bowling Green State University found that the number of older couples getting a divorce doubled between 1990 and 2014, and a similar trend in the United Kingdom has led British banks to consider offering a new type of mortgage to older divorced people.
The gathering of grieving heirs around a table to hear the reading of a will is a classic movie trope that most Pennsylvania residents will be familiar with, and these scenes often end with bickering. There are ways that heirs may be able to come to an alternative arrangement, but their options will be determined by the wording of the will.
Many Pennsylvania estate plans fail to take into account beneficiary designations in an appropriate fashion. These designations play a critical role in the management of assets like insurance policies and retirement funds. Owners of these types of assets should appoint living people as beneficiaries with the exception of benefits intended for organizations like charities.
Pennsylvania couples who are ending their marriage probably know that there is more than one way to do so. How the issues of a divorce are resolved is mainly determined by how well the two parties can work together.
Even Pennsylvania residents with modest means may wish to take steps to protect their assets from civil judgments or creditors. Medical emergencies can leave families with crippling bills, and a moment of distraction behind the wheel could result in a six figure award of damages. Many people associate asset protection with estate planning, and they often mistakenly believe that a revocable living trust is all that they need to keep what they hold dear away from the clutches of bill collectors or plaintiffs.
When people are completing their estate plans, they might wonder whether to establish a trust or to instead pass their assets through a will or other documents. Trusts are not always appropriate, and because of changing tax laws, wills and other estate tools may be better for many people.
When it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one, a last will and testament can simplify matters greatly. Pennsylvania estates that are dictated by a written will may still be contested with valid reason. For example, if the will is deemed unfair by the potential beneficiaries, the process of contesting it may begin. The process of contesting a will begins after the will has been admitted to probate and all beneficiaries have been notified.