Welcome to Pennyborn.com. This site will help you access the information and forms you need to make an estate plan or administer an estate in the United States. Whether you have a modest estate and cannot afford a lawyer or have a substantial net worth and want to use sophisticated estate planning methods, Pennyborn.com offers extensive free resources to help you put your affairs in order and plan your legacy.
While Pennyborn.com is often described as a place to learn everything you ever wanted to know about estate planning, you may only be interested in the most essential issues. If so, you can start with the top 10 areas of estate planning: wills and trusts, last wishes, granting power of attorney, living wills and medical decisions, life insurance, gifts and gifting, legacy planning, estate taxes, financial planning, and Medicaid planning. To start making an estate plan today, see wills and trusts. Then browse the index on the left to go to the next issue.
Common Estate Planning Concerns
The following is a list of some of the most common issues that may arise as you plan your estate:
1. Title to Property. For some people, avoiding probate is one of the primary reasons to make an estate plan. You can use certain forms of title to pass property outside of probate.
2. Spouses and Partners. Many of us are curious about whether our property will go to our parents, children, and siblings or whether it will go to our spouse or partner.
3. Dementia and Wills. Age related health conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's can affect your ability to make a valid will or trust. The validity of wills made at this stage in life is a common concern.
4. Disinheriting an Heir. It can be very upsetting to have adult children that only want an inheritance or greedy heirs that try to cut other family members out of an inheritance.
5. Current GSTT Rates. If you want to leave money to your grandchildren or great grandchildren, it is important to have current rates and exemption amounts on estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer taxes.
6. How to Change Your Will. Making changes to your will or living trust without following the proper execution requirements in your state is a common cause of will and trust disputes. It could also result in your will or trust being declared invalid.
7. Conservatorships. Adult children often have questions about whether they need a conservatorship for an elderly parent. Conversely, seniors want to avoid being subject to a conservatorship.
Probate and Trust Administration
If you are serving as executor of an estate or trustee of a trust for the first time, you may have a million questions about where to start and how to avoid mistakes. Our site provides an overview of each step in the process of settling an estate, whether the estate is subject to probate or will pass to beneficiaries through a trust or non-probate transfers. To get started, review our executor checklist and trustee checklist. By using the resources on our website, you can save time and money when settling an estate or administering a trust.
For Heirs and Beneficiaries
If you need information about wills, trusts, and probate because you are an heir or beneficiary of the deceased, you are on the right site. Pennyborn.com features tips and forms for surviving spouses, children, partners, and next of kin. You may have questions about inheritance, inherited IRA's, contesting a will, responsibility for debts of the deceased, and Medicaid estate recovery. To find answers now, go to heirs and beneficiaries.
Pennyborn.com is a free online reference guide to estate planning, trusts, funeral planning, will and trust disputes, probate, estate administration, and trust administration. Our site features free estate planning forms, reviews of estate planning forms you can buy online, and estate planning forms books.
Pennyborn.com also features articles on trends in estate planning and tips on how to find resources that make the process of estate planning and estate administration easier for consumers. In 2017, Pennyborn.com will celebrate its 8th year as an online publisher of estate planning materials. Contact Us.
Free Estate Planning Forms
Pennyborn.com is a great resource for finding forms to make an estate plan or administer a trust. Some of the most frequently used forms include living will forms, power of attorney forms, forms for trustees, and the estate planning worksheet. To access these forms and start your estate plan, go to free estate plan forms.
Find Free Estate Planning Forms at Pennyborn.com
Free Estate Planning Guides
If you are starting the process of making an estate plan or were appointed to manage a deceased person's estate, you probably have lots of questions about trusts, estates, probate or funerals. Pennyborn.com features many free estate planning guides including the following: Estate Planning Guide for Parents, Guide to Living Trusts, Funeral Planning Guide, Pet Owners Estate Planning Guide, Estate Planning for Small Businesses, Probate Guide, and Trust Administration Guide.
To start browsing our free estate planning guides, go to Estate Plan Checklists. Our estate, trust, and probate guides are easy to understand and free.
If estate taxes are a concern, you may want to start using one of the most common estate planning strategies. By gifting assets to your heirs during your lifetime, you can reduce the size of your estate, which may ultimately result in lower taxes being assessed on your estate. To find the 2016 and 2017 estate tax rates and exemption amounts, go to 2017 Estate Taxes.
If you are going to use gifting as an estate planning strategy, it is important to become familiar with annual gift tax exemption amounts, as they often change from year to year. You should also let your tax professional know you want to start gifting to your heirs and consult an estate planning attorney about whether you should create a trust as part of your gifting strategy. For the gift tax exemption amount for 2017, go to
2017 Gifting Limits. For the gift tax exemption amount for 2016, go to 2016 Gifting Limits.
Last Wishes and Your Estate Plan
You may think making an estate plan is all about deciding who should inherit your property when you die. While it is important to leave instructions about your estate, you may have forgotten to tell your family or friends what to do about your funeral and burial. Advance funeral planning is becoming a more important part of estate planning for several reasons. Funeral services and burial plots cost more today than ever before. Many families simply cannot afford the cost of a typical funeral. Also, attitudes about burial and cremation are changing, with more people choosing to be cremated and fewer people purchasing burial plots.
For these reasons, your survivors may not know how to make your final arrangements when you die and unless you make provisions in your estate plan, they may be unable to pay for them. For tips on how to leave instructions on your last wishes, read our free funeral planning guide.
Estate Planning Software
While many people want to make an estate plan, the cost of having a will, power of attorney, and health care directives prepared by an attorney is often seen as an obstacle to putting your affairs in order. Fortunately, you can purchase estate planning software that allows you to create your own estate planning documents at your home or office.
Although using an attorney is obviously the best way to ensure your estate plan is prepared properly, estate planning software is an alternative if you are on a budget. If you are going to try the do it yourself approach to estate planning, one way to avoid costly mistakes is to read a primer on how to make a will or living trust. To see top-rated estate planning guides on a variety of topics, go to books and software.