WILLS, TRUSTS, & ESTATES
Our Attorneys have significant experience in preparing Estate Planning documents such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, Advanced Healthcare Directive (Living Will), Living Trusts, Life Insurance Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts and other important and essential Estate Planning documents.
We have also assisted many clients with Probating a Will after the death of a loved one and the myriad of issues one must deal with in administrating an Estate and preparing and filing the necessary inheritance and estate tax forms.
Many people have their reasons for not having done any Estate Planning. However, none of these reasons are valid. A Will is a basic and essential Estate Planning document that every adult needs and one can not wait to do.
The following discussion contains answers to frequently asked questions concerning the Estate Planning and Will drafting process.
Why Does Someone Need a Will?
A Will is a legal document which helps you put your affairs in order at the time you die. Every adult should have a Will, to set forth his or her intentions regarding their home, their money and any other assets (their estate) they have at the time of their death.
A Will should identify who will handle your estate, how your assets will be divided, and who will serve as guardian for your minor children. Attorneys are trained to write Wills that accurately set forth your intentions. A carefully drafted Will prepared by an Attorney will ensure that your wishes are clearly stated and will be carried out.
Can I Write My Own Will?
Developing a Will requires knowledge of Federal and State Tax laws. Standardized Wills from do-it-yourself kits or computer software may not be drafted properly for Pennsylvania.
A Will that is not skillfully drafted could result in your estate being distributed in a manner contrary to your wishes and lead to unnecessary costs, effort and loss of time to your heirs should challenges be raised.
Is it Expensive to Have a Will Prepared?
The fee to prepare a Will depends on the complexity of your life situation, your intentions and your assets. Although the fee will vary, our office can provide you with a basic estimate based upon your answers to a few simple questions.
No matter what the cost, a properly prepared Will could save your loved ones substantial amounts in taxes and other expenses that would far exceed the cost you paid to have the Will prepared. There is no price tag for peace of mind.
Is a Will the Only Document One Needs?
Although a Will is an important document and a good start, in many cases you may want to consider such documents as a Durable Power of Attorney, which will allow your loved ones to access and sell your property should you become mentally or physically incapacitated, an Advanced Healthcare Directive (Living Will), which will instruct your healthcare providers as to your desires should you be in a vegetative or brain dead state.
In addition, to adequately deal with all issues relating to the transfer of property at the time of your death, you may need to undertake more extensive “Estate Planning”.
Consideration should be given to the manner in which assets are titled, the Estate, Inheritance and Income Taxes that will be due at the time of death and whether assets shall be held in trust or given outright to your intended beneficiaries. To adequately address these and other issues to achieve the maximum benefit with the least amount of taxation to your heirs, other documents may be considered and discussed with your attorney, such as a living trust, life insurance trust, irrevocable trust, etc...
Our attorneys will discuss your assets and desires for their distribution upon your death in detail and will tailor-fit your estate planning documents to your individual needs and intentions.
Why So Much Reluctance to Make a Will?
Most people have their reasons for not having a Will. None are valid. Many people think that they will have plenty of time to take care of it later. Some don’t think they will have enough assets to worry about a Will. Others assume their family will carry out their wishes after they are gone. Some think that having a Will cost too much to prepare, even though they are not exactly sure what that cost is.
Procrastination frequently sets in because considering a Will forces each of us to think about death – an uncomfortable topic. The greater fear should be that one has not fully provided for their loved ones or addressed important issues while they can.
A Will simply can’t wait. Only you can make it happen, so contact us today either by telephone or e-mail.
After you have contacted us and decide to proceed forward with drafting a Will, the following will assist you in providing us with the necessary information to draft appropriate and effective documents to met your unique Estate planning goals.
Please note that we will not
begin preparation of any documents until we have received a fully
executed Fee Agreement from each client for whom we will be drafting