Berman & Asbel, LLP

Trust Administration Archives

Duties of a trustee in Pennsylvania

When people are planning their trusts and estates, they should fully understand the duties a selected trustee will have when they are deciding whom to choose. When a trustee accepts the job of administering estate, he or she will be taking on several important duties. A good trustee should be someone who is trustworthy and organized so that he or she may appropriately complete all that is expected.

The role of charitable trusts in Pennsylvania

According to the Internal Revenue Code, a charitable trust is treated as a private foundation and as such is not tax exempt in the way that many public charities are. However, various taxes such as capital gains tax or estate taxes are not levied upon charitable trusts. This makes it ideal for estate planning for an individual who wishes to leave an income-generating asset or assets to charity.

What is a Totten trust?

As many Pennsylvania residents may know, trusts may be established to transfer assets to a beneficiary without going through probate. There are two main types of trust depending on whether the trust can be altered once it is formed. A bank account may be considered a Totten trust in that a beneficiary is identified, and the assets are marked to transfer to that person upon the depositor's death.

Enforceability of mandatory arbitration of trusts

Trust settlors in eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware may have heard about a decision by the Texas Supreme Court regarding the mandatory arbitration of trusts. The court held that mandatory arbitration was enforceable in a particular case because that was the intention of the person who established the trust.

How do we measure reasonable fees for a trustee?

The question of how to estimate "reasonable" trustee fees is probably not at the top of the minds of most Pennsylvania readers. The concept is rather distant from our daily lives, and the idea of something being objectively "reasonable" is a concept that may exist only in the bounds of the law. One person's idea of reasonable fees to compensate them for their work managing a trust may be wildly different from the next, but in the end all of the parties must agree on a number and pay it. 

Special needs trusts can provide peace of mind for parents

Many people are aware of the importance of making estate plans. Parents or guardians of minor children should make particular efforts to complete estate plans, if for no other reason than to appoint guardians for the children to make sure that the children are cared for.

Trusts help provide parental guidance even after we're gone

During our lives, we are there for our children whenever they need us. It is our job to guide them and exert control when necessary. We teach them life lessons. We give them advice when they are making a big decision. We give them emotional support during a difficult experience. Yes, we even give them financial help in some situations. What happens when we are gone? 

Who and what is in play in a trust? II

Trusts were the topic of the first post of this two-part series. While many of our posts in our Pennsylvania Probate and Estate Administration Blog talk about unique circumstances, individual situations and specific kinds of trusts. This series instead looks at a broad level. The first part focused on the parties in play in a trust arrangement. This post looks at some of the most basic structures for a trust.

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