The attorneys of Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP are pleased to welcome D. Scott Eaby to their expanding legal practice. He will serve new and existing clients from the firm’s branch office at 108 West Main Street in Ephrata. Scott has resided in Ephrata, Lancaster County all of his life, and has proudly served families
Oh Me, Oh My It’s Time to Get Your Estate Plan in Order: Lessons from Aretha Franklin’s Death and Her Handwritten Wills
When “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin died on August 16, 2018, her family thought she died without a Will. There were many questions about what would happen to her estate and what Aretha’s wishes were upon her death.
In legal terms, it was believed that Aretha died intestate, or without a Will. You can read more about Pennsylvania’s intestate laws and how an estate is handled when someone dies without a Will here.
In many cases, when someone dies without a Will, it can cause controversy in an already grieving family. For Aretha Franklin, we can only assume that the vast size of her estate and the legacy attached to it left her heirs wondering Who’s Zoomin’ Who? …
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Final Session of Estate Planning Conversation
This Thursday will be the final session of our three part series of Estate Planning Conversations. In the final session, we will focus on what happens when a loved one dies. Who should you call first? When should you be making this call? How do you pay for the funeral? What does probate mean? How…
Revocable versus Irrevocable Trusts
“Irrevocable Trust” sounds so formal and intimidating. Also, there are two very different pronunciations. Regardless of how you pronounce “irrevocable,” it can be intimidating if you are not properly advised during the drafting process. When a person creates an irrevocable trust, they relinquish ownership and control of the assets they are transferring to the trust. The assets are then controlled by the Trustee appointed in the trust document. The Trustee must control those assets in accordance with the rules outlined in the trust document. It is crucial that you are satisfied with the trust document before signing it, because unlike a revocable trust which can be amended at will in most cases, there are only a few limited circumstances where an irrevocable trust can be amended or terminated.
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Is a Revocable Trust Right for Me?
Next to a Testamentary Trust created for the protection of minor’s assets, the most commonly requested trust is a revocable trust. A revocable trust can be a great tool if you need a little more control over assets, have property in different states, or have some more complex estate planning considerations. However, there are some drawbacks to a revocable trust as well.
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Basic Trust Terminology
What is a trust and why do I need one? A trust is a great estate planning tool when used effectively and in the right situation. But most people know very little about trusts and often times think their estate does not warrant a trust. Over the next several posts, I hope to provide more information about trusts in general and help you decide if a trust is something worth considering.
When dealing with a trust, it can seem like the document is speaking another language. Below is a quick primer of terms commonly used in conjunction with trusts. After all you can’t decide if a trust is right for you if you don’t know what it says.
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Estate Planning Conversation
Thank you to everyone who attended the first of three estate planning conversations Russell, Krafft & Gruber is hosting in Ephrata. Gary Krafft, Kathy Krafft Miller and I had the pleasure of speaking with several people who wanted to have a better understanding of the estate planning process and the necessary documents. It was an…
Intestate Laws – When You Do Not Have a Surviving Spouse
This is the final installment of the intestate success series. To see the other installments start here.
If you’ve already read the second post in this series, then you know that the intestate succession can be rather complicated when you leave a surviving spouse and other family members. But what happens when you don’t have a surviving spouse? How are assets distributed in those circumstances? Well, it depends on who survives you.
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Intestate Laws – When You Leave a Surviving Spouse
This is the second installment of our Intestate Laws series. In case you missed the first one, check it out here.
Probably the biggest misconception people have about dying without a Will is that their spouse will just get everything. Unfortunately, this is only the case under a small select set of circumstances. I don’t know about you, but taking a chance that my situation would fit one of the few circumstances where my husband would inherit everything we worked for is not enough for me to leave it to the intestate laws to determine the distribution of my estate. So what are the circumstances that leave everything to your spouse without a Will? The only way your spouse will inherit all of your intestate estate if you do not have a proper Will, is if you have no living parents or children. That is it. No other circumstances allow for your spouse to inherit your entire intestate estate. Outside of the intestate estate, the only other way to ensure that your spouse inherits everything is for you to be absolutely 100% sure that every single thing you own is titled jointly with your spouse with right of survivorship or that you have named your spouse as a beneficiary on everything. Speaking from experience, even the most diligent people forget to change beneficiary designations or something happens before they get around to it. It is simply too risky to leave something so important to chance.
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Save the Date: Estate Planning Conversation
Do you have a Will? If you do, when was the last time you looked at it? Does it really say what you think it does? What about a Financial Power of Attorney or Health Care Power of Attorney? Is each of those documents up to date? Does it meet your needs?
If you are…