Why do I need to coordinate non-probate property with my will in Pennsylvania?
You must coordinate your non-probate property with your will in order to avoid expensive estate taxes and align the distribution of both probate and non-probate property.
Failure to properly coordinate your non-probate property can jeopardize your estate; however, a Pennsylvania will attorney can walk you through this complex process to eliminate any potential problems for you and your heirs.
Non-probate property includes assets that can be passed to a beneficiary outside of the will, either though a beneficiary designation card or contract.
Non-probate property may include:
- retirement plans (i.e., 401k or IRA);
- life insurance;
- payment on death accounts;
- joint tenancy with rights of survivorship property; and
- living trusts.
Even though your non-probate property goes directly to a beneficiary, the assets are still included in your gross estate value when determining the amount of estate tax that must be paid.
However, by coordinating your non-probate property with your will, you may be able to place the assets into a trust in order to reduce or eliminate the amount of estate tax that must be paid after your death.
Coordinating your non-probate property can also help your family members avoid financial problems. If most of your estate passes outside of probate, the amount of money left for estate taxes, funeral expenses, and attorney fees in probate is greatly reduced; in some cases, there may not be enough money left, forcing your heirs to cover these expenses.
Hire a Pennsylvania Will Attorney
With proper planning, you can establish a trust fund to take care of your heirs after your passing. The Pennsylvania will attorney team at Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees is dedicated to helping you with your trust and estate needs. Contact our law office at 610-692-1371 (West Chester) or 610-933-8069 (Phoenixville), or fill out our convenient online form today.