The best gift you can give your loved ones is to have your Estate Planning complete. Unfortunately, to a great extent, misinformation about critical terms such as Pa Inheritance Tax, Federal Estate tax, Pa Probate, avoiding probate, simple will, Pa Living Will, and Pa Living Trust, tends to lead to misunderstandings of estate planning.
An attorney who specializes in Pa Estate Planning can help you create a complete plan (including Pa Last Wills, Pa Powers of Attorney, and Pa Living Wills, etc.) to protect your spouse and children if you become unable to manage your financial affairs. Pa Estate Planning allows you to make decisions now so your wishes can be carried out if you die or become incapacitated.
When you execute a legal document called a power of attorney, you are authorizing another individual to make certain decisions on your behalf. The person who signs the document is called the principal and the person who is authorized to make decisions is known as the agent or attorney-in-fact.
A limited power of attorney restricts the permissible activities of the agent to a specific period of time. For instance, if you are in the military and are being deployed overseas for six months, you can set up a limited power of attorney with an individual you trust. That person may be granted access to your bank account so they can pay your mortgage or other monthly expenses while you are away from home.
A durable power of attorney, unlike other forms of this type of legal document, does not expire if the principal becomes incapacitated. The agent may continue to make financial and medical decisions as indicated in the original document.
Living wills are also referred to as an advance directive or a health care directive. It is a legal document that communicates your desire in the treatment of serious medical problems in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. They do not go into effect unless you are incapacitated and unable to express yourself. Having a living will can relieve your close relatives from the burden of having to make the decision about whether to remove you from life support.
Trusts are legal documents that allow you to control how your assets will be allocated or managed. You are considered the grantor and the person that manages and distributes assets in the trust is known as the trustee. Individuals who receive money or other assets are the beneficiaries.
Property placed in a trust, unlike wills, is not subject to probate. You can also create a revocable trust which can be canceled or revoked at any time while you are alive. Trusts can be set up for a child’s education or to reduce estate taxes.
A Will is an important document to execute in order to avoid disputes about how your assets will be divided when you die. The executor who administers the distribution of assets from your estate will allocate your possessions as you specified. You should periodically review your Will to make sure it is still relevant and accurate. Life changing events, such as the birth of a child or a marriage, may require amendments to the original document.
Most estates, especially when there is a proper will in place, are easily settled. Yet there are times when other factors complicate the issue, creating a situation that requires more careful consideration. For example, a family business, an estate that is in bankruptcy or an estate that holds significant amounts of real estate may become complicated quite quickly. This is where estate litigation comes into play.
When an individual acts in a fiduciary capacity such as a Pa Executor of a Pa Last Will or a Pa Trustee of the financial assets of another person or entity, they have the responsibility of keeping accurate financial records. Those records should show how money was spent, invested or distributed while under the fiduciary’s care and control. Proper accounting can bring to light the mismanagement or bad investment of funds should an issue arise with an interested party.
The Pa Guardianship process can be filled with emotions. Realizing that a loved one is no longer capable of caring for his or her self can be difficult to accept. For the past twenty-five (25) years, Attorney Whalen has built a reputation for providing compassionate legal care for his clients, putting their needs and interests first while navigating emotionally trying circumstances.
The Pa Probate process, itself, is a very simple process. However, it is merely the beginning of the Pa Estate Administration (also known as the Pa Estate Settlement) process, which involves settling a decedent’s affairs, and can (and does) involve many, many other steps, depending on many, many other things.
The Bryn Mawr Pa Probate Attorneys Guide is the core of this website. It consists of the best, most important articles on this website. Their focus is to provide the best and most complete information on a particular topic, rather than to sell products.
John B. Whalen, Jr., JD., LL.M., is an AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent 5.0 and Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb (obtaining over 95 client reviews and peer endorsements) premier and prestigious Attorney and Counselor at Law.
He is featured on Avvo, Justia, Lawyers, LinkedIn, Martindale, Nolo, Quora, and Thumbtack. He is located at 696 Pont Reading Road, Ardmore, Pa, 19003. He serves all surrounding counties, on all 7 days, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and on evenings, weekends, and holidays. He provides free initial consults all seven days, provides home visits, and provides flat fee structures. He can be reached by email at email@example.com, and by telephone at 1-610-999-2157.
Mr. Whalen has achieved the AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent award from Martindale, AV Peer Judicial Preeminent award, the Avvo Rated Superb 10.00 award, the Avvo Rated Top Lawyer award, the Clients’ Choice Award, and the Top One Percent (1%) award. He is the recipient of the Legum Magister Post-Doctorate Degree (LL.M.) in Taxation (from the Villanova University School of Law), a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Wills, Trusts, and Estates (from the Widener University School of Law), and a recipient of the ABA-BNA Law Award for Academic Excellence (from the Widener University School of Law).