by Bill Griffith Bill Griffith No Comments

COVID-19 Update

Over the last nine months, we have received many calls from people wanting to know if and how they can meet with us to pre-plan for their funeral or cremation, set up a Living Trust, and protect their home and life savings from unanticipated long-term care expenses. Maybe you are wondering the same thing.

We wanted to keep our community, especially those whose families we have been honored to serve, informed about how we have adjusted to continue to help people prepare for and feel more reassured about the future.

We wanted to let you know that yes, you can still work with us to ensure that your wishes for funeral arrangements are documented ahead of time.  Despite the ongoing changes that we are all facing, we make it easy and safe for you to plan for your funeral and cremation.

Whether you want to eliminate the costs and delays of probate to ensure that your loved ones will receive their inheritance promptly or protect your home and life savings from unanticipated long-term care expenses, we can help you organize your financial affairs to ensure your long-term security and independence.

Though we are taking extra precautions with respect to physical distancing, masking, and sanitizing for in-person meetings, we are also available to work with you remotely, either via telephone, on the web, or via email.

We can still help you plan so that everything is taken care of no matter how you prefer to meet with us.

For example, our new cremation center is the premier online cremation resource for families choosing cremation services in Pittsburgh, PA, and surrounding communities.  You can choose the cremation package and merchandise that you prefer at your convenience and in the comfort of your own home.  You can make your own selections and provide the required biographical information entirely online. 

If you would like to eliminate anxiety and uncertainty over your affairs during this challenging time and make things easier for those you love, please schedule an appointment today. 

We can help you organize your financial affairs to ensure your long-term security and independence.

It’s all about your future™

by Bill Griffith Bill Griffith No Comments

Reviewing Your Estate Plan

Reviewing your estate plan periodically will ensure that your Revocable Living Trust and other estate planning documents are properly aligned with your most important goals.

Are you confident that your estate plan is designed properly? Do you know how your estate will pass to your beneficiaries?

If not, you can gain a better understanding of how your estate plan is designed and the level of stress that your loved ones may incur if something where to happen to you.

One of the main goals of estate planning, for many people, is to minimize the burden of estate settlement.  One way of minimizing the burden of estate settlement is by avoiding probate.  One way of avoiding probate is with a living trust.

How Does a Living Trust Avoid Probate?

After a living trust is created for our clients, we help them transfer the title of their assets to their trust.  Although the title of their assets has been transferred to their trust, they still control the living trust during their lifetime.  As the Trustee, they still manage their assets for their own benefit during their lifetime.  They can still use their assets just as they did before they set up their trust.

Since their trust owns the assets, and not them personally, their estate does not have to go through the probate process when they die.

Funding a Living Trust

Transferring the title of assets to a living trust is really a simple process.  It is called funding the trust.  To minimize the burden of estate settlement by avoiding the probate process, the Revocable Living Trust must be funded properly.

By reviewing your estate plan periodically, you can be sure that your living trust is properly funded upfront to avoid the unintentional expense of probate.

Changes in Personal Circumstances

Another reason for reviewing your estate plan is to account for changing laws and changes in personal circumstances.

Do Your Powers of Attorney Documents Need Updated?

Every so often, the state will change the laws for the Durable Power of Attorney.  In addition to changing laws, some financial institutions may not accept a POA that was drafted many years ago.

The cost for updating powers of attorney and other ancillary estate planning documents is minimal.

It is highly recommended that people review their estate plan at least once each year to make sure that their estate plan remains current and to ensure that any new assets were properly titled in the name of the trust.

An even better and easier way to keep on top or your estate plan is by using our interactive estate planning program. You’ll be able to keep your information up to date and allow other authorized users, such as your child, to view your Pre-Paid Funeral Expenses, your legal and other documents right online.

To login for the first time to begin an estate plan, simply click My Estate Plan at the top of the screen. We’ll send you a separate email with a link to complete an interactive questionnaire.

by Bill Griffith Bill Griffith No Comments

Living Trust Can Avoid Probate

A living trust can avoid probate and ensure that your assets will pass to the beneficiaries you choose, and in the manner that you want.

A trust can be a fundamental part of planning for the future.  Trusts can help people avoid probate, unnecessary taxes, put their wealth to use in exactly the way they wish, accumulate assets for retirement or their beneficiaries, and much more.

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