Wills, Estate Planning & Trusts

Estate planning is the process whereby a person develops a plan and prepares documents to conserve, protect, and distribute estate assets before and after death for the benefit of loved ones and charities, taking into consideration the effect of state and federal tax and administration laws and regulations. It can also involve planning for the use of your assets for your care if you become unable to manage your affairs during your lifetime.

If you own a home, have some savings, or own any goods such as a car or furniture, then you have an estate. Planning for the future will affect the financial security of those you love. If you do not plan for what happens to your estate upon your death, the government will make those decisions for you.

You should have an estate plan if:

  • You care about who inherits your property
  • You care about your health treatment
  • You are the parent of minor or disabled children, and/or
  • You want to avoid the public proceedings of a possible guardianship and/or probate

We at Frank W. Daly & Associates, Inc. realize that your estate is a reflection of years of hard work, careful planning and good decisions.

That is why we dedicate considerable time to design a plan that is tailored to your specific needs and help ensure a secure future for those closest to you. We provide practical solutions to estate planning and asset protection to comply with our clients’ wishes, including maintaining management and control of their estate, while at the same time avoiding probate, protecting family members, ensuring their financial privacy, obtaining peace of mind and avoiding unnecessary taxes.

The key to successful estate planning is to develop a collaborative effort, which includes the client, the attorney and the accountant, or tax professional.

We at Frank W. Daly & Associates, Inc. have experienced attorneys and tax professionals to provide you with the most knowledgeable and updated data available. We understand that every estate, regardless of size, is an important one.

The firm handles all aspects of estate planning, including creating wills and trusts, business planning, asset protection planning, wealth preservation planning, planning for incapacity or disability, and minimizing or eliminating federal and state tax liability. A Revocable Living Trust is recommended in some instances as a cornerstone of client’s estate plan. A fully funded Revocable Living Trust offers complete control to clients during their lifetime, provides for them and their loved ones in the event of their incapacity, and on death allows them to pass their assets to their loved ones without the costs and delays usually associated with probate.

We can teach you how to direct your assets using a variety of methods including:

  • Making use of the federal and state gift, estate and generation-skipping tax exclusion to transfer assets
  • Trust Agreements (including Life Insurance, Spendthrift trusts and others)
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Living Trusts and Life Estates
  • Business Succession and Liquidity Planning

Fiduciary Duty

Many people seek legal help when they are called upon to exercise their fiduciary duties. The executor of an estate, the agent under a Power of Attorney, and the Trustee of a trust are not always familiar with their legal obligations. There may be questions about how assets are handled. There may be disputes with others about how money should be distributed or invested. The person acting in such a fiduciary capacity will often need legal advice to steer clear of trouble.

The term “fiduciary” encompasses a broad spectrum of the law in Pennsylvania. A fiduciary is a person or company who stands in a position of trust to another. A trustee of a Trust is the best example of a fiduciary, since that trustee has what we call a “fiduciary duty” to act in accordance with the principles of the Trust and in the best interest of the beneficiaries of that Trust. Other common examples of fiduciary capacities are executors and administrators of estates, escrow agents, attorneys-in-fact under a Power of Attorney, Guardians of incapacitated persons and members of the board of directors of corporations. All of these people have a fiduciary responsibility to the entities they serve.

To achieve a client’s estate planning objectives the client will come in for an initial conference and based on a comprehensive review of an individual’s assets and general situation as well as the personal goals of our client we will make recommendations for you to accomplish your goals. We will assist you in defining your estate planning objectives and provide you with the most effective means of obtaining these objectives which would include prudent tax planning and asset protection planning. We also offer Special Needs Trust for families dealing with severely handicapped or disabled children.

While each situation is different, an attorney who regularly practices in the field of wills, estates, trusts, probate and estate planning is able to provide you with sound legal advice as you put your estate plan into place. Decades of combined experience in this area of law allows us to provide for our clients knowledgeable, professional and customized results

Related Services provided by Frank W. Daly & Associates, Inc.:

  • Preparation of Simple Wills, Trusts and Related Documents
  • Living Wills
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Designation of Pre-Need Guardian
  • Guardianships
  • Deeds
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Settlement of Decedents’ Estate
  • Gift Planning and Irrevocable Trusts and Other Trusts
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Probate and Trust Administration