Estate planning has become more complex, but wills and trusts are still a crucial part of that plan. Our wills and trusts attorneys at Long & Long, LLC draft wills specifically for our clients and do not rely upon forms or boilerplate language. We understand that making a little extra effort now can avoid a great deal of confusion in the future. That is why we listen to our clients’ needs and concerns and draft documents specifically with those matters in mind. One of the most misunderstood documents, a trust, can be a very effective tool when used properly. If a trust best serves your needs, we take the time to create one tailored to your specific needs.
A will is the method by which you communicate your final wishes and a trusted person is designated to see them through. It can be used for, but not limited to, planning the specific distribution of your assets upon death, setting up individualized educational trusts for your grandchildren, or providing your children with specific instructions for your real property to avoid complications after death. Drafting errors, mismanagement, alterations to the law or changes to your family or financial situation can potentially cause problems with your distribution scheme. Without a will prepared by our attorneys, these errors can cause property to be distributed in a way that may not align with your wishes.
A will is the one document that most people are familiar with, and yet we advise countless people every year whose relatives have passed without a will. We understand the reasons for putting off a will, and have heard them all. The excuses range from "I am too young to worry about it" to "I do not have a lot of assets", and they all have one thing in common - they are all wrong. In the absence of a will, these issues are determined by Pennsylvania law with little regard for what you would have wanted. Our attorneys create wills to make sure that your goals are met.
A trust is a legal device in which one person — a settlor — gives property to another person — a trustee — to hold and manage for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. The trustee can be an individual or a business such as a bank or trust company and has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. In Pennsylvania, a trust must be in writing. That writing can contain instructions and limitations for the trustee. Trusts come in many forms and have many uses. A trust is also an effective method of giving a gift to a family member who is a minor, has many creditors or is otherwise not cautious or disciplined with money. Special needs trusts can be useful for providing supplementary income to a disabled loved one without affecting his or her eligibility for need-based programs like Medicaid and Social Security.
Trusts are very useful legal tools for asset protection, wealth preservation, estate and incapacity planning, tax planning and gift planning. Our team of attorneys draft such trust documents and then advise their clients on how to implement and fund their trusts.