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Estate administration and probate can affect one's assets

Estate planning is a critical part of protecting one's assets and providing for loved ones. Many decisions need to be made, including whether a will is adequate or if the Pennsylvania resident will benefit by creating a trust. These decisions can have a profound impact upon one's assets, how they are distributed and whether they are subject to estate taxes. There are many aspects to the estate administration and probate process that need to be taken into consideration.

With a revocable trust, the individual establishes the trust and designates its beneficiaries. Assets are transferred to the trust and a trustee is established. In many cases, the trustee and the individual creating the trust are the same. This type of trust is useful for transferring assets without the need for probate. Additionally, with this type of trust, the individual can make changes as he or she sees fit.

Another type of trust is the irrevocable trust. Again, with this type of trust, it is established and the probate process is avoided. Additionally, with the irrevocable trust, it may be possible to avoid estate taxes. With this type of trust, once it is created, changes cannot be made. In many cases, a revocable trust becomes an irrevocable one once the individual dies.

Protecting assets in addition to providing for loved ones is a common goal among Pennsylvania residents. Both of these goals can be accomplished through careful consideration of the estate administration and probate process. Experienced legal counsel can assist in determining the best way to structure one's assets and estate.

Source: bankrate.com, "What Is A Trust?", Jan. 9, 2018

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