Beware of Estate Planning & Administration Pre-packaged Forms
If you have attended a "free seminar" providing information on intervivos trusts and other estate planning documents, you may have seen a great sales pitch. The seminar may have been in coordination with your insurance agent or a provider of annuities. But there is a big difference between establishing a working relationship with a licensed and experienced attorney dedicated to estate planning and estate administration and purchasing a set of documents. Since there are so many drawbacks to using these neatly packaged notebooks, we strongly advise you to avoid them.
Once you have paid (as much as) thousands of dollars for such a package, you will probably never see the salesperson or any representative of the company again. There may be a customer service phone number for questions, but when someone passes away complications can arise and the representatives are nowhere to be found. A knowledgeable and dedicated attorney is what you need at the beginning and throughout all phases of the process.
Although probate can take time, the use of intervivos trusts can actually complicate administration of a deceased's estate, rather than cleverly "avoiding probate." Although the entire process may take several months, that does not mean there are no distributions to beneficiaries before the process is complete. An inventory of an estate must be made, and also an inventory of trusts that are not part of the estate. This can be an unnecessary complication and duplication of effort.
No Tax Advantages
Do not assume that trusts removing assets from your estate will reduce estate taxes in your case. Talk to a knowledgeable attorney at Bowe, Lisella & Bowe.
Aside from our skills and experience, we demonstrate our commitment to clients and community with our long-standing involvement in local organizations and initiatives. We offer free initial consultations on many matters, are available for weekday, evening and weekend appointments, and are committed to charging reasonable and affordable rates. Contact a lawyer at our downtown Tamaqua law firm at 570-225-0032.