It’s Never Too Early To Think About The Future
Estate Planning Attorneys in Chester County, PA
It is never too early to start thinking about the future. Ensuring that your wishes are clearly stated and your loved ones are well taken care of after you die can help make a difficult time easier. Our skilled estate planning attorneys at Perna & Abracht, LLC are committed to helping you reach your estate planning goals, and can help you create a specialized estate plan that is tailored to meet your individual needs.
Elements of Estate Planning
Our top estate planning law firm drafts vital legal documents that can reduce estate tax obligations and protect your assets after your death. Other estate planning documents outline your specific wishes which can spare your family unnecessary emotional turmoil and costly litigation.
A Will is the legal document in which you specify the individuals and/or organizations that will be the beneficiaries of your assets upon your death. Your Will also names an executor who is responsible for the proper administration of your estate, and allows you to name a guardian for your minor children or adults with special needs. A well-crafted Will can protect your loved ones’ interests and help them avoid dealing with the time-consuming process that is required when someone dies without a Will.
Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts allow some assets to be transferred outside of probate and remain private, which can save time, money and potential conflict between family members. Different types of trusts serve different purposes. Our family estate planning attorneys advise you on the best way to use trusts to reduce tax debt, maximize and protect your assets, and ensure that they are passed-on in accordance with your wishes.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, commonly referred to as a Health Care Directive, lets you name an agent who will make decisions about your medical care if you can no longer speak for yourself. This document also gives you the opportunity to set guidelines that will guide your agent’s decision-making.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances designates an agent who will take care of your financial affairs if you become unable to do so.
Estate Planning FAQ:
What Is A Living Will?
In addition to designating a health care agent to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so for yourself, a Healthcare Directive (also called a Living Will) enables you to articulate your specific desires regarding end-of-life decisions if there is no chance of your recovery. Without a healthcare directive, your loved ones may disagree on options for end-of-life decisions, making a challenging time even more difficult for them.
How Do I Get Started With Estate Planning?
Our estate planning law firm provides clients with top-notch legal services from some of the best estate attorneys in the business. First, your attorney meets with you to discuss your estate planning objectives in detail. Once your needs and goals are outlined, your estate attorney recommends and prepares the estate planning documents that are best-suited for your specific objectives. We review these documents with you and answer any questions you may have to ensure you fully understand their benefits and purposes, and then you execute the documents in the comfort of our officers where they are witnessed and notarized allowing you to leave the office with completed estate planning documents. Estate planning requirements differ from state-to-state, and our local estate lawyers ensure that all documents are properly drafted, executed and notarized as required by law.
Here are the five essential estate planning documents that protect your legacy.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process for authenticating a Will and administering your estate. During the probate process, the executor of your Will locates all your assets and assesses their value. After any debts or taxes are paid, the remainder of your estate is distributed to beneficiaries.
What Happens if You Die Without A Will?
If you die without a Will, the probate court will name an administrator to handle your estate. Your property and assets will be distributed based on your state’s laws of intestacy. Typically, your spouse and children have priority, and then your parents or other family members. If you want to ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes, it is vital to have a Will. In addition, if you have minor children and die without a Will, the court will appoint a guardian for them, which may not be the person you would have chosen to care for them.
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
Even if you have minimal assets, an estate plan can give you peace of mind and make things easier for your loved ones if you pass away. Anyone age 18 or older should create at least a Will and durable powers of attorney. An accident or illness can happen to anyone, and being proactive about creating an estate plan can ensure your interests are protected and prevent family disputes.
When Should I Update My Estate Plan?
Even if you have a comprehensive estate plan in place, it is important to review it periodically and adjust it to reflect any changes in your life. If you marry, divorce, have a death in the family, welcome a new child or grandchild, or move to another state, make sure to update your estate plan as soon as possible.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for Estate Planning?
Our attorneys help you create a customized estate plan that ensures the implementation of your wishes and is legally sound. Seeking the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you avoid common pitfalls and potential court challenges after you are gone. We also help clients identify ways to maximize their beneficiaries’ inheritance and avoid probate by establishing trusts and utilizing other legal tools that may be available. We help you understand potential tax liability, and ensure that beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other assets are up to date.
Working with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who is well-versed in the law can help you make practical decisions and find creative solutions that protect your interests and the legacy you wish to leave behind.
If you have a specific legal question that you would like answered without any obligation to retain our firm, please schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys below.
Contact An Estate Planning Attorney Today
Whether you are interested in drafting a Will or need to set-up a trust for a family member, our estate attorneys listens and takes the time to understand your needs and goals. Contact us here or call us at 610-708-1970 to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney at Perna & Abracht, LLC.
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