Wills & Trusts
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Are you worried about the future financial security of your loved ones? At the law offices of Halligan & Keaton, our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys will work with you to ensure your assets and heirs are protected with an appropriate will or trust.
A will is a legal document that helps put your affairs in order after your death. Your will identifies who will administer your estate, how your assets will be divided, who will serve as guardian to your minor children and other issues that are important for you to provide specific instructions.
What a Will Can Accomplish:
• Designate who will inherit your assets. You can be as specific or as general as you would like to be.
• Name a guardian for your minor children.
• Name someone to manage assets on behalf of your minor children.
• Name an executor who will handle the administration of the estate.
A trust is a document that changes legal ownership of and decision-making authority over property. A trust is managed for the benefit of its beneficiaries. Management of the trust is by a trustee, who may be the owner of the assets or may be another party or parties.
What a Trust Can Accomplish:
• Passing along an inheritance with conditions as to the age the recipient will receive the principal distributions of the trust.
• Paying for medical care or nursing home living expenses for an ill or disabled person with a special needs trust.
When it's Time to Think About a Trust
There are many types of trusts. The type that is best for your purpose will depend upon the degree of control you wish to maintain over the assets of the trust during your lifetime and the degree of tax protection you seek and the goals you are trying to achieve.
There are two basic types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. If a trust is revocable, the person who put his or her assets into the trust can choose to remove those assets during his or her lifetime (a living trust). Revocable trusts offer less tax protection. An irrevocable trust offers more tax protection but less direct control over the assets placed in the trust.