Pittsburgh Estate Planning Lawyers
Plan Your Legacy the Right Way
No one likes to think about what happens when they die, but it is critical to plan the administration of your estate sooner rather than later. Estate planning is a method of planning what will happen to your assets when you become incapacitated or die, and a significant element of this process is establishing who will get what and when. Estate planning also accounts for your assets and personal care during your lifetime in the event you are unable to take care of yourself. No matter how big or small your estate is, estate planning is an effective tool to protect your future and loved ones when you are no longer around.
Ready to get started? We encourage you to schedule your free consultation with our Pittsburgh estate planning attorneys online or at (888) 458-0991 today!
Elements of Estate Planning
When you turn to our firm for all your estate planning needs, we will provide a comprehensive assessment of your estate, reviewing elements such as your:
- Estate taxes
- Bank accounts
- Business interests
- Guardian provisions
- Retirement benefits
- Insurance policies
- Collectibles and art
- All other personal belongings
Once we have a clear, thorough understanding of your estate, we can then begin building a comprehensive estate plan on your behalf. Some of the most significant estate planning documents we will create for you include:
- Living wills/advance medical directives
- Anatomical gifts
- Medical and financial powers of attorney
We can also help clients in nonprofit and wealth transfer matters. Our attorneys can help with the establishment and operation of nonprofit organizations, including charitable organizations, real estate boards, Chambers of Commerce, recreational clubs, churches, schools, hospitals, and community foundations. Specifically, our estate planning lawyers can:
- Help these organizations maintain a tax-exempt status
- Establish charitable giving programs
- Address local and state tax problems
If you want to maintain a legacy of your family’s values through philanthropy and charitable gifting, we can work with you to learn your family dynamics and understand how and when you want your wealth transferred to your children and grandchildren.
Will vs. Trust: What’s the Difference?
Two major estate planning documents are wills and trusts. However, many people don’t know the differences between the two. While there are similarities, there are also major differences to keep in mind. Take a look below for some clarity.
Wills are legal documents that instruct how you want your property and assets to be distributed and to whom. You can write your funeral wishes and instruct where you want your assets to go, or you can choose to have such assets be owned by your trust.
A will names your executor and beneficiaries, and appoints guardians for your children. If you have minor children, you must have a will to ensure they are protected by a trusted guardian if they are under the age of 18 when you die. On that note, wills only become effective when you die, unlike trusts. They also become public records, as they are submitted to a probate court that works to ensure your will is legal and valid. Thus, your private information such as your assets and beneficiaries will become a public court record.
Trusts are more elaborate than wills because they are more personalized to your unique goals. Like wills, living revocable trusts are legal documents that provide instructions for what, where, and when your assets will be distributed and to whom. Living revocable trusts are among the most common types of trusts, as they allow for the avoidance of probate court.
Unlike wills, however, trusts become effective during your lifetime, meaning you can manage your property while you are alive or after you die. This also means that your trust “owns” your assets as soon as it’s created. In a trust, you appoint a trustee to manage your assets if you become incapacitated, as well as name the trustor (you), successor trustee, and trust beneficiaries. Your trustee should be someone you and your family can depend on to follow the wishes outlined in your trust.
Estate Planning Made Easier
Estate planning requires close attention to detail, a strategic approach, and a comprehensive grasp of your family dynamics and personal goals, among other important elements. We know the importance of effective estate planning and go above and beyond to ensure no stone is left unturned.
Wait no longer to get started by scheduling your consultation with our Pittsburgh estate planning attorneys online or at (888) 458-0991!