An Overview about Estate Planning
Check out my interview, An Overview of Estate Planning on Pennsylvania Homes, one of the top sites for Pennsylvania homes for sale, including Pottstown, PA homes for sale. Pennsylvania Homes also services New York real estate and Connecticut real estate.
Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.
I received BSBA in Accounting from Bucknell University in 1978. Graduated from The Dickinson School of Law in 1981 and started with Ernst & Whinney that summer in the tax department. In addition to regular tax services I also was involved in Business Planning and Executive Benefits Planning (income tax and estate taxes). I moved on to a local law firm in 1983 to develop corporate, tax and estate planning practice, and then opened my own office in 1989. Since opening I have concentrated on small/mid-size businesses, taxes, trust and estate planning, probate and trust administration, non-profit corporations and real estate. I generally work in a team environment with other professionals such as CPAs, financial and insurance professionals, risk managers, banking professionals and realtors.
Can you briefly state for our readers a generalized definition of estate planning?
My clients generally look at estate planning as a process whereby they control their assets while they are alive and well, have someone to manage their assets and take care of them and their loved ones in the event they become disabled, and then give what they want, to whom they want, when they want and how they want upon their death.
At what age should you start planning your estate details?
One should start dealing with estate planning as soon as they reach the age of 18, and especially if they go away for college. At that time they should at least have Powers of Attorney for health care and for finances so that parents (or sibling, etc) can assist them if they become ill or disabled, or if they travel a lot. Also at time you get your first job, to deal appropriately with employee benefits like 401 k plans, group insurance, etc..
How is estate planning different from the creation of a will?
Estate planning is an ongoing process to take care of you and your loved ones, and covers many areas including disability and death. A will is only one document in the process of estate planning, and a will only is effective upon your death.
Are there different types of estate planning lawyers?
I am not sure what you mean by different types of estate planning lawyers. There is some split between lawyers that focus on wills versus lawyers that focus on living trusts. Also, within “estate planning” there are lawyers that focus on estate planning, those that focus on elder law, etc..
How do estate planning laws vary from state to state? (give examples)
Each state has its own laws regarding trusts and estates. Depending on how those laws are structured, estate planning in those states may be well centered (ie., probate practice) or living trust centered (ie, avoid probate). States may also be community property states, where spouses are treated as if they jointly hold all assets, or may be “separate property” states where each spouse can separately own his or her own assets . Finally, some states have inheritance or estate taxes, and some states do not, so planning may vary widely depending on your state of residence, and where your property is located.
What is the best way for people to reach you and or your company?
The best way to contact us is either by phone (1-717-232-4701), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or go to our website http://www.cherewkalaw.com/