Do I Need a Trust?
You may have read an article or had someone tell you that you need a trust. In reality, what is good advice for someone else may not be good advice for you. In Pennsylvania, trusts are simply not needed for most families.
At Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky, P.C., in Harrisburg, our lawyers can review your situation and let you know if a trust would be in your best interests. Call us at 717-260-3527 to talk to a lawyer about your situation.
When Is a Trust Helpful?
There are many types of trusts that can be used to accomplish specific goals. Here are some examples of times when people could benefit from having a trust:
- If you have minor children, you may want your will to create a testamentary trust for your children if you die.
- If your estate is large enough to trigger federal estate taxes ($5.3 million for individuals and $10.5 million for couples), an irrevocable trust (such as a life insurance trust) can minimize estate taxes.
- If you have a child or spouse with special needs, a special-needs trust can enable you to provide assets to that person without making them ineligible for government benefits.
- If you have issues with creditors, you can protect your assets with certain types of trusts.
In Pennsylvania, trusts are not particularly valuable for most people. A trust won’t help you minimize taxes if you are below the estate tax limits. Trusts can be marginally more efficient in transferring assets to beneficiaries and maintaining privacy. However, there are less cumbersome ways to transfer assets outside of probate.
No one can give you good advice about estate planning without knowing your family, your property and your goals.