Be Prepared – To Save Yourself Money with Wills & EstatesBe Prepared – To Save Yourself Money with Wills & Estates
Jonathan Kozusko

Living Trust Seminars
Living trust seminars are marketing tools often pitched to help you “avoid probate.” While living trusts are a valid estate planning tool when used as part of a larger estate plan, most people do not need to use them, and doing so may even complicate matters. Additionally, fees charged by living trust providers may exceed any purported cost savings of “avoiding probate.”

Get Your Files Together
While it may not be immediately recognizable as a money saving task, organizing all accounts, gifts, and safe deposit boxes can have financial benefits. The personal representative (executor) is responsible for paying taxes of the estate. If the representative cannot locate your accounts and information in a timely fashion, significant penalties can be imposed for late payment of taxes and fees.

Adding Loved Ones to Your Accounts for Convenience
Trying to help an elderly loved one by adding them to your checking account? Think again, doing so will subject the joint account to a Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax liability at their death. The tax is imposed on the decedent’s share of the joint account based on number of joint owners, not the actual amount that each contributed to the account.

Be A Bargain Shopper
If you have been named as an executor, do not feel obligated to hire the attorney who drafted the will for administration of the estate. There is nothing wrong with doing so, but there is also nothing wrong with getting some other fee quotes. Shop around, the legal business should be held to the same standard as all other businesses.

Kozusko Law is located in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. 412-260-8315

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