Wills, Trusts, & Estates

Estate planning can be a very complicated process. Depending on the size of your estate, the differences between federal and state estate and inheritance tax laws will severely impact the portion of your assets your beneficiaries will actually receive. Wu & Hung Law, LLC advises individual clients in estate planning, including trusts, wills, and powers of attorney and health care directives. We also handle probate and trust and estate administration.

Wills, Living Wills, Advanced Healthcare Directives, Power of Attorneys
It is extremely important to prepare a document that expresses your final wishes. Do your loved ones know whether you want to be buried or cremated? Do they know where all of your important documents are? Be sure that your loved ones are protected the way you want them to be, and not the way that will otherwise be decided by the state. Begin planning your estate today.

You may think that you don't have anything of value but I guarantee that even if you do not have things that are worth a lot of money, you have possessions with sentimental value. Think about that special piece of jewelry. What about the artwork in your home? If there is someone special that you would like to have these items should something happen to you, who would know? That's why it's so important to document it in writing.

What Is a Will?
A will is a written document directing the disposition of a person's assets after death.

Requirements For a Valid Will
In New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, a will must be signed by the person making the will and witnessed and signed by two credible witnesses in the presence of the person making the will.

Why a Will (or Trust) is so Important
A will is one of the most important of all legal documents. It is the legal declaration of a person's intentions and desires that he directs to be carried out after his death. By making a will you can specify how you want your property distributed after your death; you can name a personal representative who has the responsibility to collect assets, pay bills and distribute your estate according to the terms of your will; you can make charitable bequests; and you can nominate someone in whom you have confidence to be a guardian of your minor children. Without a will, the intestate laws of the State of Maryland direct the order of priority for those individuals to serve as personal representative of the estate; what heirs are entitled to receive the assets of the estate; and in some instances the Orphans' Court shall make the appointment of a guardian for your minor children.

Living Will
What if you were to become incapacitated? Would you want to be kept alive on life support? How long would you want to be kept alive on life support? Create a Living Will so others will know your wishes.

Other Healthcare Directives
There are a host of documents available to protect you in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions about your own healthcare. See an attorney about the ones most appropriate for you. Take control of your life and give yourself peace of mind.
Trust Planning & Formation
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to the beneficiaries.

Since trusts usually avoid probate, your beneficiaries may gain access to these assets more quickly than they might to assets that are transferred using a will. Additionally, if it is an irrevocable trust, it may not be considered part of the taxable estate, so fewer taxes may be due upon your death.

Assets in a trust may also be able to pass outside of probate, saving time, court fees, and potentially reducing estate taxes as well.

Other benefits of trusts include:

  • Control of your wealth. You can specify the terms of a trust precisely, controlling when and to whom distributions may be made. You may also, for example, set up a revocable trust so that the trust assets remain accessible to you during your lifetime while designating to whom the remaining assets will pass thereafter, even when there are complex situations such as children from more than one marriage.
  • Protection of your legacy. A properly constructed trust can help protect your estate from your heirs’ creditors or from beneficiaries who may not be adept at money management.
  • Privacy and probate savings. Probate is a matter of public record; a trust may allow assets to pass outside of probate and remain private, in addition to possibly reducing the amount lost to court fees and taxes in the process.

  • Probate Administration