In Pennsylvania, the probate system can be simple and trusts are used less frequently than in other states. There is no set answer to the question of using a will or a trust.
However, this article has a good overview of the trust vs. will debate.
For more information about trusts and wills in Pennsylvania read below.
In general, we recommend using a trust when:
1) You are disinheriting an heir since it is harder to challenge a trust under Pennsylvania law
2) You own property in multiple jurisdictions and want to avoid multiple probates
3) You reside in a state with an expensive or complex probate system
4) You have a high risk job and do not want assets such as life insurance to be reachable by creditors of your estate
5) You have a special needs situtation and need to make lifetime gifts and have protection after your death
6) You are elderly and want a trust company, bank trust department or trusted person to manage your assets during your lifetime,
7) You are subject to federal estate taxes and want to move assets such as homes, investments, and life insurance outside of your estate (these trusts are irrevocable)
8) You want to use the trust laws of states such as Delaware, Nevada, Alaska or others that permit asset protection planning through trusts.
By: David Frees Esquire 610-933-8069
David Frees practices law with Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees
He maintains law offices in Paoli, Phoenixville, and West Chester Pennsylvania which serve many communities including: Exton, West Chester, Malvern, Phoenixville, Chester Springs, Devon, Wayne, Berwyn, Ardmore, Downingtown and others.