Berman & Asbel, LLP

Trusts Archives

Protecting Your Child With A Disability

Planning for the future is important for any family, but it becomes even more important when a child has a disability. How can you protect your child today, tomorrow and when you aren't around? With the right help, special needs planning doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some of the legal tools available to you.

Can I Keep My Kids From Blowing Their Inheritance?

Parents go to great lengths to protect their kids, and this includes setting aside money and property to pass on to them after parents pass away. If you are like many Pennsylvania parents, you probably want to maximize the financial gifts you leave to your kids. However, you probably also want to ensure they don't waste the inheritance you worked so hard to leave behind.

The benefits of a trust

When Pennsylvania residents are interested in ensuring that they will be able to leave their assets to family members in a particular way, a trust may be recommended to them. Wills can name certain individuals to receive a person's assets, but those assets are distributed in a lump sum. Trusts give people greater options in how property is doled out.

Digital assets require valuation for estate purposes

Increasing numbers of Pennsylvania residents possess digital assets. Some of them, such as digital photographs on a smartphone, might only have sentimental value, but other forms of digital assets could be worth quite a bit of money. An estate plan should include information about how to access a digital portfolio and assign a value to the assets.

Administration of an estate

Pennsylvania residents who have been honored with the task of administering an estate may want to know more about the requirements of the process. The personal representative who is named in the will could expect to take a number of actions in order to fulfill the duties of the role in accordance with the decedent's wishes. In the event that the instrument in question is a trust, the role of administrator would fall to the trustee.

Reasons everyone should have an estate plan

If people are married with children, assets tend to go to either their spouse or children when they die in the absence of a will. However, those who are married without children may want to create an estate plan to account for where their assets go upon their death. While they may first transfer to a spouse, they may be transferred to the surviving spouse's family upon his or her death.

Options for gifting children in estate planning

Pennsylvania parents might want to gift part of their estate to their children while they are still alive. However, there are some pitfalls they should be aware of. For example, cash or stock that is only minimally appreciated is a better gift than an asset that is highly appreciated because of future capital gains tax. Highly appreciated assets are best passed on after an individual's death.

Avoiding federal estate tax with an AB trust

Married couples in Pennsylvania may be able to pass on more of their assets to their children and grandchildren if they use an AB trust. An AB trust is specifically designed for married couples who want to maximize their estate tax exemptions. With a well-planned AB trust, a married couple that would otherwise owe federal estate taxes may be able to pass a tax-free inheritance to their beneficiaries.

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