Draft a will that reflects your wishes and gives you peace of mind
Wills & Trusts Attorneys in Chester County, PA
A Last Will and Testament is vital to creating the legacy you wish to leave. The Wills lawyers at Perna & Abracht, LLC have decades of experience in estate planning. We can help you draft a Will that reflects your wishes and provides a concrete plan for the distribution of your assets. Making sure your spouse, children, friends, and pets are well-taken care of can give you peace of mind and make things easier for them during a difficult time.
Why You Need A Lawyer to Write Your Will
Although there are many websites that provide do-it-yourself legal services, creating a Will without the legal counsel of an attorney can lead to serious problems in the long run. Depending on your financial and family situation, there are many scenarios you may not even think of that can affect the way your estate is distributed. Lawyers who handle Wills can give you a fresh perspective on maximizing assets for your beneficiaries, choosing an executor, and including specifics about items you wish to pass on to certain people. If you are excluding a close family member from your Will, your lawyer can ensure that this is properly documented so there is no confusion later.
Our Wills & Trusts Lawyers Assist You With All Aspects Of Estate Planning
Attorneys who specialize in Wills can also help you write other important estate planning documents such as trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives, all of which help to ensure your assets, finances, health care, and end-of-life decisions are carried-out according to your wishes. Trusts can be a valuable estate planning tool that may keep some assets from going through probate, reduce your beneficiaries’ tax liability, protect them from your creditors, and help avoid other complicated issues.
Wills & Trusts FAQs:
What Happens If I Die Without A Will?
If a valid Will is not in place at the time of your passing, your estate will be distributed in accordance with Pennsylvania intestacy laws. This means that the probate court will appoint an administrator to handle the distribution of your assets, pay your debts and close your estate. Assets are typically distributed among the deceased’s closest relatives such as a spouse or children. Depending on the complexity of your estate, probate can be a costly, drawn-out process fraught with challenges from family members and other problems.
Can I Name Guardians For My Children In My Will?
Making a Will is also critical because it enables you to designate guardians for minor children and pets. Without a Will, it is typically left up to a judge to appoint a guardian for your children and their property. A Will protects your children’s interests and helps your loved ones avoid conflict and time-consuming court involvement.
What are the Legal Requirements for a Will in PA?
You must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind to make a Will in Pennsylvania. The person who creates a Will is called the testator. A valid Will must be signed at the end by the testator. Although someone else is able to sign for the testator if they are unable to sign, it must be at the testator’s direction and in their presence. In Pennsylvania, it is recommended that you have at least two people witness the signing of your Will to help avoid it being contested. A self-proved Will includes a separate page that is signed by the testator and two witnesses in the presence of a notary. This allows the Will to be accepted as signed without the need to locate witnesses years later when the testator dies.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of validating a Will and distributing a deceased person’s assets to beneficiaries.
Discover more about The Probate process in Pennsylvania
When Should I Review My Will?
It is a good idea to review your Will annually. However, if a life event such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child or grandchild occurs, it is vital to update your Will as soon as possible. If you sell or purchase a significant asset such as real estate, you may also want to review your estate plan with your wills and trusts lawyer.
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will has nothing to do with the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. Sometimes called an advance directive, a Living Will enables you to specify what type of medical care you do or do not want, such as medication for pain management and life-sustaining measures like a respirator or feeding tube. Having an estate planning attorney assist you with drafting a Living Will helps to ensure it is legally sound and covers all of your desires for medical and end-of-life care.
What Does A Trust Do?
A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a trustee to hold and manage assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Typically, assets in a trust do not have to pass through probate. Trusts are often used for the inheritance of minor children and those with special needs. A revocable trust enables you to add or remove assets or close the trust while you are still alive. Although some types of trusts can provide tax benefits, it is important to consult an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure any trust is set up properly.
Learn about Creating a Trust for Your Child in Your Will
What if I am an Executor of a Will but Live in a Different State?
In Pennsylvania, out-of-state residents are permitted to act as an executor of a Will or estate. However, it is advisable to hire an experienced probate administration lawyers in pennsylvania to assist you and help make the process easier.
Who Should I Name as The Executor of My Will?
Your executor should be someone you consider responsible and trustworthy. Typically, people choose a trusted relative or friend. You may also name a bank, accountant, attorney, or trust company as an executor, which may result in additional fees for services. These types of decisions can be challenging and highly emotional. Our wills and trusts lawyers can offer an objective perspective and provide information that can help you make an informed decision.
Is Hiring An Attorney for Will Preparation Expensive?
A valid Will written by an attorney is well worth the peace of mind it gives you and your family. A legally sound Will can also help your loved ones save time and money after your passing. Our Wills lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss your specific needs and can help you create a Will that accurately reflects your wishes.
When is the best time to create a Will? The simple, accurate answer is “Now”
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.
Our local lawyers for Wills are committed to making the estate planning process as stress-free as possible for you and your family. Contact us here or call us at 610-708-1970 to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Chester County estate planning attorneys at Perna & Abracht, LLC.
Our Office is Located at:
610 Millers Hill
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Serving Southeastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware
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