The attorneys at Ryan, Morton & Imms located in West Chester, PA are experienced at assisting clients in estate planning and estate administration.
The exemption for the federal estate tax (the net estate value at which you have to begin paying tax) can and has shifted from one year to the next. There are tools available to an experienced practitioner to lessen the value of assets subject to federal estate tax. As the federal estate tax can be as much as 50% (or more) of the value of the taxed estate, proper planning before death can save estates hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the estate. We have worked with clients for many years in federal estate tax planning, and has assisted them in minimizing their federal estate tax exposure.
We are also familiar with the use of asset protection trusts, available locally through the use of a Delaware trustee. These trusts permit the trustee to hold assets for the benefit of the trust owner, and free of many of the claims and liabilities which might attach to the owner after creation of the trust.
Apart from the more sophisticated federal estate tax and asset protection planning, our attorneys work with clients in drafting and executing simple wills, living trusts and special needs trusts, general durable powers of attorneys and living wills/advanced health care directives. Living trusts can be effective in eliminating the need for probate of assets placed in the trust, as well as adding an element of privacy to trust assets. Special needs trusts attempt to provide some private resources to an individual, such as a disabled individual, without disqualifying that individual from also receiving government support. General durable powers of attorneys permit the agent designated in the POA to handle the principal’s personal matters and financial affairs even where the principal may become wholly incapacitated.
We handle estate administration throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and can identify competent local counsel and coordinate with them in administering estates in any other jurisdiction. Estate administration encompasses probate of the will and/or designation of an estate administrator, publication of death notices and circulation of other required notices, court filings, and preparation and filing of all state inheritance and federal estate tax returns.
Please contact the law firm of Ryan, Morton & Imms should you need assistance in estate planning and estate administration.