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Shiremanstown Estate & Trust Administration Attorney

Shiremanstown Estate & Trust Administration Attorney

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Secure Your Future with Keystone Elder Law

Have you been named as the personal representative of a recently deceased family member or friend’s will? Maybe you are the successor trustee of their trust. In either case, you may be completely unprepared for the responsibilities of administering your loved one’s affairs.

Keystone Elder Law, P.C., is here to help. We are qualified Shiremanstown estate and trust administration attorneys who can guide you through the ins and outs of Pennsylvania’s probate laws. We can assist you in carrying out your new responsibilities and help ensure your success. We know that this is a difficult and emotional time for you. And so we will make every effort to shoulder the legal burden of dealing with the trust and estate administration process.

Trusts and Probate Estates Are Not the Same Thing

A common question we get is, “How are trusts different from estates?” They are actually two distinct legal concepts. Although there are many situations where the same person is tasked with overseeing both a trust and an estate, they are separate roles subject to different legal requirements.

An estate–known as a probate estate–is a legal entity created after a person’s death to administer any property they own in their sole name. In many cases, a person may have owned or controlled a substantial amount of property during their lifetime yet left little or no probate estate. This is because the probate estate does not include any of the following:

  • real property held jointly with a spouse or under a joint tenancy with survivorship rights;
  • assets with a “payable on death” beneficiary, such as a retirement account;
  • assets belonging to a living trust.

If the deceased left a will, then its terms will govern how the probate estate runs, including who serves as personal representative and who receives any assets that remain after the estate’s debts and expenses are paid. In the absence of a valid will, Pennsylvania intestacy law governs these matters. So even if there is no will, there can still be a probate estate.

A trust, in contrast, is something that the deceased individual created during their lifetime. A “living trust” is commonly used in Pennsylvania as legal means of bypassing probate. The successor trustee named in the trust documents assumes control of the trust assets after the original grantor’s death. In many cases, the grantor also leaves a will that “pours over” any probate estate assets that may exist to the trust, thereby ensuring everything is under the ultimate control of the successor trustee. And even when there is no living trust, the will may direct the personal representative to create one or more “testamentary trusts” to hold and administer specific assets for a period of time.

Contact Keystone Elder Law, P.C., Today

Some trusts and estates require little direct administration. Others are more complex. Regardless of your situation, however, it is in your best interest as a personal representative or trustee to work with experienced counsel. If you need to speak with a skilled Shiremanstown estate and trust administration attorney, contact Keystone Elder Law, P.C., today to schedule a consultation.

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Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Approach

Empowering Clients with Holistic Planning at
Keystone Elder Law

At Keystone Elder Law, we believe that the physical, social, legal, and financial considerations of our clients all intertwine. We utilize an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate each area, which allows for the creation of a plan that addresses the concerns of the individual as a whole as well as the family. To this end, our model of practice includes a Care Coordinator (usually a nurse or social worker), whose expertise complements our team of attorneys.

When the road of life is smooth, decisions about legal and financial matters are easy to push aside for “a rainy day.” Planning ahead, however, will allow for more options as you view the map of where you’ve been and where you want to go. Don’t let a crisis limit your choices or derail your plans.

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