Category: Trust Administration

Setting up trust administration for a living trust

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Trust Administration on Oct 14, 2016.

When trying to decide how to handle real estate within the larger estate planning process, many families turn to trusts. There are multiple different types of trusts, some of which may offer a better fit for a Pennsylvania family than another. In the case of a living trust, it is important to understand how to set up the trust, and how to ease the eventual trust administration process. A living trust is one that is created during a homeowner’s lifetime, and involves re-titling the home into the name of the trust itself. A living trust can be either revocable or irrevocable. A revocable living trust is one that allows the homeowner to retain complete control over the piece of real estate, as well as any other assets that are placed within the trust. The downside is that a revocable living trust offers no protection from creditors. An irrevocable living trust is one in which the homeowner largely cedes control over the assets placed within the trust, and cannot remove those assets. The benefits, however, include removing the assets from the owner’s taxable estate. Protection from creditors is another appealing aspect of an irrevocable trust. Stipulations can be placed on the trust that limit the ability of beneficiaries to access the wealth held in trust, which can be important to some families. When determining how to handle the disposition of real estate in the larger estate planning process, it is important to understand the ins and outs of all available options. […]

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Trust administration can ease family concerns

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Trust Administration on Jul 22, 2016.

In many Pennsylvania families, leaving behind assets to loved ones is not a simple matter. Some families have spent decades amassing their wealth, but they may have children or grandchildren who do not share their same financial acumen. That can result in a scenario in which heirs squander their inheritance, sometimes emerging in even worse financial circumstances than before they received a financial windfall. For such families, the creation of trusts and professional trust administration can provide peace of mind. By creating a trust, families can structure the terms by which their loved ones will inherit accumulated wealth. Those terms can be as loose or as restrictive as the grantors feel necessary. Once wealth is placed within the trust, it is protected from loss through divorce, legal judgments or seizure by creditors. In essence, this allows a family to take steps to protect their chosen heirs from themselves. By setting out the terms that govern how trust distributions are made, families can limit access to the base of wealth that is held within the trust. That can give heirs a chance to learn how to manage their wealth or to mature and become more financially balanced. Once a trust is in place, selecting professional trust administration services can add additional peace of mind. When the trust is handled by an individual or team that is highly skilled at managing these financial tools, the grantors can rest assured that their hard work will go to their chosen heirs in the manner […]

Avoiding conflict during trust administration

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Trust Administration on Dec 18, 2015.

A great many Pennsylvania residents take a narrow approach to estate planning. They focus primarily on how to pass down assets to their intended heirs, and they give little thought to how to decrease the risk of conflict between family members. When the time comes for trust administration to take place, there can be significant infighting among surviving loved ones. Often, the problem does not lie with faulty estate planning but,instead, with a lack of adequate communication between family members before those plans need to be called into action. By sitting down and discussing these matters with one’s chosen heirs, everyone involved can be clear on the manner in which assets will be distributed. This is also the time to address the reasons behind those decisions. Once those discussions have taken place, it is equally important to revisit the issue any time that a significant change occurs. Failing to do so can result in an outcome that is even worse than never broaching the subject at all. Loved ones may remember exactly what was discussed previously and then cling to those plans against all reason, even if the final estate planning documents contain a different division of wealth. Trust administration is a demanding task, and a Pennsylvania resident asked to fill that role will already have his or her hands full. Adding family tensions to that mix can be too much and can place an undue burden on the person who is the designated administrator. The best way to avoid […]

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Trust administration can ensure care for children

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Trust Administration on Sep 28, 2015.

For most Pennsylvania parents, few things are more important than the safety and well-being of their children. To that end, parents will go out of their way to ensure that the needs of their children are met, especially while those children are still young. One way to safeguard against unplanned disaster is to address estate planning needs early, long before such plans are perceived as necessary. This includes planning for trust administration in the event that it might be needed. No parent wants to think about leaving a child behind, but none of us are able to know what the future holds. If a child loses one or both parents in an accident, a series of changes will be set into motion that can be difficult to adjust to. In the best case scenarios, parents will have made provisions to ensure that their kids are well cared for in such an event, which begins by selecting the best possible guardian(s) to provide love and support. The individuals entrusted with this role will have a great deal of adjustment to do on their end, as well. Becoming a guardian is usually a very sudden change, even when the issue has been thoroughly discussed. While a certain degree of confusion and anxiety is to be expected in such an event, there is no need to add financial strain to the mix. Parents in Pennsylvania can ensure that their chosen guardian has the financial means to assume their new role as caregiver by […]

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