Skip to comments.Living Trust And / Or Will
Posted on 02/24/2014 5:54:34 AM PST by knarf
I've come to a time in my life when I should make some decisions about what happens when I'm gone ...
I can find a lot of information on line ABOUT these things, but I can't find anything (Pennsylvania specific) that I can download, fill in and have notarized.
Is this something that we are forced to get a lawyer involved or does anyone know where I can get some blank forms, legal enough that I can fill it in and look at it?
One place for info:
Yeahhhh ... I guess I should’a tagged my question with ... free
Yes. My parents used a lawyer to create their revocable trust and wills. It is highly recommended.
A late friend of mine was an expert in land titles and deeds. She said a lot of problems with land inheritance had to do with incorrectly created trusts.
I am not an attorney nor do i work in the legal field. I go to an attorney recognized in any aspect of the law industry (that is what it is) just like I don’t do my own dentistry or hair cutting among other things I am not skilled at. So, I would be careful being my own council on estate laws.
That said, if one has an almost zero estate, why not do your own. For those, the forms available on the net from any of the self lawyer sites probably are sufficient.
There is a pretty good section on trusts, wills, and the tax consequences of IRAs in the current issue of Forbes FWIW. A few things recently changed and for those having substantial Roth or regular IRAs being aware of the tax consequences and allowances is critical knowledge.
The kids are grown, so all I want to do is avoid probate and be sure everything can go seamlessly to my wife.
You might just keep looking on line for info on a living Trust.
Don't forget....gifting some of your money is a good way to distribute it and it costs nothing.
There’s specific PA law regarding these things.
There are a few law firm/organizations that service low-income seniors for these services.
The state wants low-seniors to fill out the forms so that doctors have what they legally need to stop their efforts when these situations come up.
It’s obviously aimed at saving money for medicare/medicaid.
I found what was needed by using google to search a couple years ago.
Free Wills here:
Free legal advice is like free medical care - you get what you pay for, knarf.
Why don’t you have the property put in BOTH your names? That’s what my mom and dad did.
If everything is titled jointly everything should go seamlessly to your wife without a trust or will.
In regard to your children....give them at least $1 in the will.
Gifting is a nice way to give access funds to your children during your lifetime.
check your local brick and mortar for a paper back from Nolo Press. They have all the paper work for advanced directives, trusts, wills, etc.
IF you have relatively small assists (house, bank account, savings) and it is clear cut what you want to do with them, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you have substantial assists then a lawyer or an estate planner is worth while because of tax considerations
Both; and pay an attny, its worth it, cause if you screw something up it may negate the whole thing
The most important document you will need is a durable power of attorney and a health care surrogate. Avoid the living will if at all possible, and repo it back from your doctor’s file. The health care surrogate can take care of things if needed, whereas the lviing will gives carte blanche to whoever happens to be there when it is determined that you are terminal.The most expensive and aggravating time is not death - it’s incompetence and dying, and having your daughter on the checkbook is not adequate. Get the POA.
Consider spending a couple of bucks on a lawyer and get it done right. Well worth a couple hundred dollars or less. That said:
Pennsylvania will recognize just about anything as a will. A handwritten note or even a video will suffice. Getting it notarized isn’t needed (still OK though) but a witness is a darn good idea. Date the document. Make sure people you love have copies and know where to find them. If your belongings are as few as you say a living trust isn’t going to do much for you, unless you have some out of the ordinary wishes about your land or it is working farmland and you want it to keep it that way after you die. This is not always true with some other states, but you say you live in PA. Beware of people that want to sell you an expensive, fancy trust for more than a thousand dollars. It will most likely be nothing more than an expensive phone directory sized book that won’t do anything more than a simple will would do for you.
We had a death in our church a couple of weeks ago and my neighbor and I were reminiscing, which led to questions about what we had done or were going to do, and the idea of probate came up.
Our conversation just led me to think that I needed paper to guarentee the transfer when I had always thought ... if the bank acct is joint (and it is) and the deed is in both names (and it is), the only thing would be the cars which I think are in my name (easily handled by my friendly neighborhood fellow school board member and notary ... )
If one dies intestate, with no will, the inheritence laws of the resident state take hold. I don’t know if Pennsylvania has inheritence taxes so no comment on that. This article covers the laws of succession in Pa:
It is always better to pass with a will or trust rather than having some leech attorney act for the state to sort out the
estate issues IMO.