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To Trust or Not to Trust?

By Susan Piette, Esq

(Page 2 of 2)


The administration of an estate with a traditional will and the administration of a living trust should include the costs of legal advice and services for estate/trust administration, document interpretation, proper payment of taxes, creditors, distribution to beneficiaries, and other issues.

If one elects a revocable living trust, you will not only need to incur the costs of the preparation of trust documents, but also all related documents to retitle all assets during one’s life into the trust.  “Retitle” means to change the name on your assets.  Real estate needs a new deed, checking accounts need new checks, stock certificates have to be mailed to the issuer with a request to issue new ones, certificates of deposit (CDs) need to be changed by the bank, etc.  All new purchases need to be titled in the name of the trust.  Very frequently, people do not transfer all assets.  Some assets, such as tangible property, cannot be titled and therefore cannot be transferred into the living trust.

Revocable living trusts work for some people in some circumstances, but are not needed or preferable for most people.  Almost all people who have a trust should have a will also if they want to direct the inheritance of their assets that cannot be or by error are not placed in the living trust.

We all need the facts about asset protection and estate planning.  We also want the peace of mind of knowing how our assets will be distributed upon our passing. You are the only one who can make important decisions about your estate planning. You need clear and knowledgeable information to make those decisions.

Susan Piette, Esq. is an attorney with Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin. She has extensive experience in assisting individuals in Pennsylvania with their estate planning and long-term care needs. She can be reached at (215) 661-0400 or

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