Pennsylvania Trust Guide (Includes book + digital download)

Bisel Publishing


A Handbook for Trustees and Their Advisors
Fourth Edition

1 Volume, Hard-bound, 1362 Pages

Published: December, 2018 (4th Ed.) (Previous Editions: 2008, 2010 & 2014)
Most recent supplement/update: 2022 Supplement; released Jan. 2021; $159.        2022 Supplement Authors: JULIEANNE E. STEINBACHER, ESQ., SAMANTHA K. WOLFE, ESQ., and JENNA L. FRANKS, ESQ.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2008935708
ISBN: 978-0-9910771-6-8

Highlights of the Fourth Edition of the Pennsylvania Trust Guide include:

1. Discussion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and how it impacts trust creation, taxation, and administration


2. Overview of the types of charitable trusts and how to incorporate them as a tool in your practice


3. Analysis of new cases relating to trust creation and administration (including standing to contest testamentary documents, creation of a trust under fraud or duress, creation of a trust using a power of attorney, and what changes to a trust have been permitted by the court under the statute permitting trust modification)


4. Example Crummey notices, example of trust funding forms and letters used for trust funding and administration, drafting tips for legal practitioners in the area of trust and estate planning, and sample trust provisions to incorporate into your templates


5. Summary of the state law treatment of using irrevocable trusts as a part of Medicaid and long-term care planning


6. Overview of supplemental needs trust and trust and non-trust planning strategies for individuals with special needs


7. Comprehensive analysis of the tax issues for trusts (including income taxation difference between grantor and nongrantor trusts, how to handle capital gains and losses within a trust, computing the tax basis for property held within in a trust, and the Pennsylvania inheritance tax implications for trusts)

- Overview of recent PA and Massachusetts cases involving irrevocable trusts in area of Medicaid planning and the implications to elder law attorneys who use irrevocable trusts as planning tool for long-term care planning clients.

- Analysis of conflict that can arise if agent under power of attorney utilizes estate planning tool like an irrevocable trust, but is not engaged in the duty to preserve the principal’s estate plan as in case of Estate of Capbianco.

- Summary of Est. of Young v. Louis: If previous PA cases determined that plaintiff lacked standing to sue decedent’s attorney for malpractice based on unexecuted trust, does it matter if there was extrinsic evidence that decedent intended to amend a trust agreement to make the plaintiff a beneficiary but never executed the trust agreement?

- Expansive case analysis of Taylor Trust and the factors needed for a court to approve a removal of trustee and subsequent trustee appointment for an irrevocable trust

- A comparison between a trustee removal when the grantor is alive versus when a grantor has passed away and how to address both situations in the trust instruments

- When can a trust modification can be appropriately used to accomplish the removal of a trustee or the inclusion of language to create a procedure to remove the trustee?

- An outline of 199A (Qualified Business Income) and how 199A impacts income taxation of trusts

- Updates to Pennsylvania inheritance tax through (1) case law related to the allocation of assets owned by a revocable living trust using a Clayton election and the taxability of assets for a sole benefit sub-trust and (2) reduction of inheritance tax for child 21 or under  

- Practical tips relating to disclaimers and when to use them, trustee removal and how to accomplish it through either the trust instrument or court intervention, division and combination of trusts for ease of administration and for tax purposes, making a grantor trust a non-grantor trust to achieve tax planning goals

- 645 election options for trusts




      1.1. Introduction

      1.2. Definitions

      1.3. “Default” and Mandatory Rules

      1.4. Creditors’ Claims and Spendthrift Provisions

      1.5. Notice and Reporting Requirements

      1.6. Statute of Limitations

      1.7. Special Rules for Revocable Trusts

      1.8. Creation and Validity of Trusts

      1.9. Bond

      1.10. Representation and Non-Judicial Settlements

      1.11. Trustee Compensation

      1.12. Removal of Trustee

      1.13. Trust Modification or Termination

      1.14. Liability of the Trustee

      1.15. Liability of Persons Dealing with the Trustee

      1.16. Repeal of Rule Against Perpetuities

      1.17. Conclusion


      2.1. Introduction

      2.2. To Whom Does the Prudent Investor Rule Not Apply?

      2.3. To Whom Does the Prudent Investor Rule Apply?

      2.4. What Is the Prudent Investor Rule?

      2.5. Duty to Diversify

      2.6. No Duty to Diversify

      2.7. Retention of Inception Assets

      2.8. Delegation of Investment and Management Functions

      2.9. Delegation to a Cofiduciary

      2.10. Retention of Uninvested Cash and Temporary Investments

      2.11. Life Insurance

      2.12. Mutual Funds

      2.13. Degree of Care

      2.14. Evaluation of a Fiduciary’s Decisions


      3.1. Introduction

      3.2. Definitions Under the Pennsylvania Uniform Principal and Income Act—§ 8102

      3.3. To Whom Does the Pennsylvania Uniform Principal and Income Act Apply?—§ 8102

      3.4. When Does the Pennsylvania Uniform Principal and Income Act Apply?—§ 8103

      3.5. Trustee’s Power to Adjust—§ 8104(a) and (b)

      3.6. Trustee’s Power to Convert to a Unitrust—§ 8105



      4.1. Introduction

      4.2. Trusts, Generally

      4.3. Revocable Trusts

      4.4. Testamentary Trusts

      4.5. Testamentary Trusts

      4.6. Inter Vivos Trusts

      4.7. Special Needs Trusts/Supplemental Needs Trusts

      4.8. Education Trusts

      4.9. Charitable Trusts

      4.10. Trusts for Care of an Animal

      4.11. Spendthrift Trusts

      4.12. Credit Shelter Trusts

      4.13. Trust for Minors

      4.14. Trusts for Unknown Owners of Oil and Gas Interests

      4.15. Standby Guardianship


      5.1. Introduction

      5.2. Three Types of Special Needs Trusts

      5.3. Supplemental Security Income

      5.4. Purposes of a Special Needs Trust

      5.5. Home Ownership

      5.6. Guidelines for Administering a Special Needs Trust

      5.7. Sections of the Social Security Administration’s Program Operations Manual System

      Appendix 5.A. Bills S.349 September 10, 2015

      Appendix 5.B. Policy Clarification for Trusts

      Appendix 5.C. PA HB 1319

      Appendix 5.D. Appendix 5.D. H.R. 4813

      Appendix 5.E. Appendix 5.D. H.R. 4794

      Appendix 5.F. Appendix 5.D. H.R. 4795


      6.1. Capacity

      6.2. Requirements for Creating a Trust

      6.3. Power to Create a Trust

      6.4. Contesting the Validity of a Trust

      6.5. Choosing a Trustee

      6.6. Powers of the Trustee

      6.7. Miscellaneous Provisions

      6.8. Trust Protectors


      7.1. Introduction

      7.2. Requirements for Creating a Trust

      7.3. Power to Create a Trust

      7.4. Contesting the Validity of a Trust

      7.5. Choosing a Trustee

      7.6. Powers of the Trustee

      7.7. Miscellaneous Provisions

      7.8. Trust Protectors

      7.9. Capacity

      7.10. Requirements for Creating a Trust

  nbsp;   7.11. Power to Create a Trust

      7.12. Contesting the Validity of a Trust

      7.13. Choosing a Trustee

      7.14. Powers of the Trustee

      7.15. Miscellaneous Provisions

      7.16. Trust Protectors

      Appendix 7.A. Authorization for Release of Financial Information

      Appendix 7.B. Power of Attorney Letter of Certification

      Appendix 7.C. Asset List

      Appendix 7.D. Letter of Instruction to Transfer a Bank Account

      Appendix 7.E. Letter of Instruction to Transfer a Brokerage Account

      Appendix 7.F. Cover Letter to Transfer Stock

      Appendix 7.G. Letter of Instruction to Transfer Stock

      Appendix 7.H. Request for Information—Life Insurance and Annuity

      Appendix 7.I. Fax Cover Sheet Requesting Information

      Appendix 7.J. Trust Funding Status Sheet

      Appendix 7.K. Trust Funding Tracking Sheet

      Appendix 7.L. Funding Your Trust

      Appendix 7.M. Letter to IRA Plan Administrator

      Appendix 7.N. Attachment for Change of Beneficiary Form

      Appendix 7.O. Chart of Beneficiary Designations


      8.1. What Information Should Be Included in the Deed?

      8.2. Use of Quitclaim Deeds in Conveying Real Estate to a Trust

      8.3. Realty Transfer Tax Liability for the Conveyance of Real Estate to a Trust

      8.4. Realty Transfer Tax Liability for the Conveyance of Real Estate from a Trust

      8.5. Transferring Real Estate to a Trust Via a Power of Attorney or Guardianship

      Appendix 8.A. Explanation to Facilitate Reading of Legislative Bills

      Appendix 8.B. House Bill No. 1429

      Appendix 8.C. Pennsylvania Powers of Attorney Statute

      Appendix 8.D. Capacity


      9.1. Introduction

      9.2. Trustee’s Powers

      9.3. Trustee’s Responsibilities

      9.4.Trustee’s Duty to Inform and Report


      10.1. Introduction

      10.2. Trust Termination

      10.3. Trust Modification or Termination

      10.4. Modification Without Consent of Settlor

      10.5. Revocable Trust Amendment

      10.6. Division of a Trust

      10.7. Decanting a Trust


      11.1. Grantor Versus Non Grantor Trusts

      11.2. Income Taxation of Trusts

      11.3. Capital Gains and Losses

      11.4. Grantor Trusts

      11.5. Tax Basis

      11.6. Pennsylvania Inheritance Taxes

      Appendix 11.A. 2018 Tax Rate Schedule

      Appendix 11.B. Proposed Qualified Business Income Deduction Regulations

      Appendix 11.C. Notice 2018-64

Chapter 12: TRUST SITUS

      12.1. Introduction

      12.2. Location of the Trust’s Situs

      12.3. Four Key Factors

      12.4. Changing the Trust’s Situs

      12.5. Choice of Law Clauses

About the Authors:



Julieanne E. Steinbacher, Esquire, CELA


Julieanne is the founding shareholder of Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, an elder care and special needs law firm established in 2002. Julieanne is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) through the National Elder Law Foundation. She has a “Superb” AVVO Rating for attorneys and was a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2013. A significant portion of her elder law practice specializes on estate and long-term care planning. As an attorney, her goal is to provide a bridge between legal services and the aging network.


As a gerontologist and former social worker at a local nursing facility, she has seen the devastating effect not planning for potential long-term care needs can have on an individual and the whole family. With the average cost of nursing home care at over $120,000 per year, many people come to her feeling hopeless about paying for their long-term care needs.


She has extensive lecturing experience as a speaker for The Pennsylvania State University Tax Institutes and Tax Week, PICPA-Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Tax Practitioners—PA Chapter, Pennsylvania Society of Public Accountants, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Elder Law Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Back to Basics, Tax Pro Seminars, and the University of Illinois. In addition, she has conducted numerous local and national seminars for various organizations.


Julieanne is the President of Estate & Long Term Care Planning, Inc., a company which provides continuing education for the public and professionals in Pennsylvania and coaching for attorneys throughout the nation. She has estates, trusts, and taxation. She also has published materials in various newsletters and newspapers. Julieanne co-authored two books about trusts, Pennsylvania Trust Guide (Edition I and II) and the Pennsylvania Special Needs Planning Guide, both published by George T. Bisel Company, Co., Inc. Most recently, Julieanne joined by nine other leading elder law attorneys from across the nation, co-authored Protect Your Family! Don’t Write a Blank Check to the Nursing Home, a collaborative writing, broken down in layman’s terms, offering readers the essential tools and knowledge for effective long-term care planning. She is also a co-author of Protect Your Legacy! What You Really Need to Know for the Second Half of Life.


Julieanne resides in Jersey Shore with her husband, Donald, her three children, Cortney, Stephanie, and D.J., and their two dogs, Steiny and Fluffy.



Samantha K. Wolfe, Esquire, LL.M. in Taxation
Samantha grew up in Greencastle, Pennsylvania but worked for 7½ years at Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In October 2017, she moved closer to her family and joined the team at Maxwell Sipe Law Offices, LLC.


Samantha’s areas of concentration at Maxwell Sipe are federal gift and estate tax planning, trust and estate planning, asset protection planning, and business succession planning. She has presented continuing education instruction for multiple programs through the Pennsylvania Bar Institute including a program titled A Fresh Look at FLPs regarding the use of family limited partnerships in business succession planning; a program titled What Every Elder Law Attorney Needs to Know About FLPs addressing whether family limited partnerships are the best planning technique to use when dealing with elder law issues; a program titled Estate Planning for Oil, Gas, and Mineral Interests; a program titled Succession Planning for Your Elder Law Client’s Family Owned Business; a program titled Asset Protection for the Middle Class; and a program titled Your Guide to Elder Law. Samantha has also been a speaker for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Tax Pro Seminars, Estate & Long Term Care Planning, Inc., and EDLF Publishing, Inc.


Additionally, Samantha co-authored a book with eighteen other leading elder care attorneys from across the nation titled Protect Your Legacy! What You Really Need to Know for the Second Half of Life. Samantha and Julieanne E. Steinbacher coauthored the 2017 and 2018 supplements to the Pennsylvania Trust Guide (Edition III) published by George T. Bisel Company, Co., Inc


Samantha graduated in 2004 from Penn State University with a B.A. in journalism and a minor in nutrition. In 2008, she earned her juris doctor from Regent University School of Law. After graduating from law school, she attended Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and earned her LL.M. in taxation. Samantha is accredited by the Veterans Administration to represent veterans and can prepare, present, and prosecute claims for the department. Samantha is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Lycoming Law Association, and the Franklin County Law Association.


Samantha lives in a rural area not far from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and adores spending quality time with her nephew, Austin, and three nieces, Maya, Lily, and Audrey.