Need help handling the estate of a family member? We can see you through the probate process.
The transfer of real estate is an important part of an estate plan. There are numerous ways to achieve the transfer of real estate upon someone's death. There are tax benefits and other worthwhile reasons to consider for the transfer of your real estate outside of your will. This can be accomplished through a new deed. It is important to know and understand the different options available for real estate transfers and the different ways to save or eliminate inheritance tax on real estate transfers. Contact us so we can explain these options.
As estate and elder law attorneys in Pittsburgh, one of the most common questions we hear is “How do I avoid inheritance tax for my heirs?”. There are legal tools available to reduce or completely eliminate inheritance tax for your heirs. Let us help you plan your estate to achieve the goal of tax minimization or avoidance.
The most common estate planning document is a will (link to wills page) which will control the distribution of all of the assets held in your name. A will can indicate specific gifts to individuals or can be general in conveying your assets at the time of death (for example dividing assets equally among family members or based on percentages). We can draft a will to fit whatever needs or requirements you desire.
We can advise you on the use of a trust agreement. A trust will allow you to avoid the probate process but does require that your assets be transferred into the name of the trust. There are advantages and disadvantages of using a trust agreement, which we will explain.
A trust can be very broad or very specific. There are many different ways to use and tailor a trust to meet your specific needs. We can explain this and help you determine if a trust agreement is a useful estate planning tool for you.
Life insurance policies are a beneficial estate planning tool. We will explain the tax benefits and advantages of a life insurance policy and how a policy impacts your probate estate and the tax liability of your heirs.
A power of attorney is a legal document that designates an individual as having the authority to handle matters for you. The most common use is in the event of physical or mental incapacity.
A power of attorney can be drafted very specifically for very limited use or can be drafted very broadly. This is typically done for an elderly parent. A power of attorney allows a child or children to make decisions on the parent’s behalf and permits them to handle affairs in the event that the parent becomes sick and unable to do so.
Without a power of attorney, a family member or loved one will be forced to seek a guardianship on behalf of that individual which is an expensive and time-consuming process. This can easily be avoided through the use of a power of attorney. Let us advise you on the use of this important legal tool in your estate planning process.
An advanced healthcare directive, also known as a living will, is a legal document that allows you to state your wishes and desires in the event that you fall ill and into a vegetative or comatose-like state with no hope of recovery. This legal document dictates what, if any, life sustaining measures you wish to have at this end-stage of life.