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Are You Making This Estate Planning Mistake?

Posted on Thu Mar 31, 2022, on Uncategorized

It is very common for people to believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy. Here’s why that’s not true, and why it matters to you.

When anyone—not just a wealthy person—creates an estate plan, they are empowering themselves by taking control over crucial decisions in their life. These include decisions about their estate in the event of their passing, as well as decisions about their health and other affairs during their lifetime.

Put simply, a person’s “estate” consists of all their property at the time of their passing. If a person fails to prepare estate planning, they will not be able to decide what happens to their property after they pass. A common line of thinking is, “But I don’t have a significant amount of property, so I don’t really need estate planning, right?”

Property can either be “real” or “personal”. “Real property” refers to real estate. But “personal property” refers to essentially everything else you own. Many people know this includes things like money in your bank account. But did you know this also includes things like your social media accounts, your most beloved belongings, and even your pets? If you do not have estate planning, you will not be able to decide what happens to those things after you pass. 

If you pass without proper estate planning, your loved ones have to endure what’s called the “probate” process in court. This is a lengthy, expensive, and public process. During probate, the court would have no way of knowing your personal wishes and desires. Despite this, it will decide who gets your assets based on predetermined laws. This could lead to unexpected and unwanted distributions.

As an example, let’s say there’s someone in your family that you do not get along with. Through probate, depending on that person’s relation to you, it’s possible they will end up inheriting your estate. Estate planning would be crucial in that case because regardless of how much your property is worth, you would not want that outcome.

But estate planning is not just about property. What happens if you become incapacitated? What happens if you pass away and have minor children? While none of us enjoy thinking of these topics, these issues can all be resolved and avoided through estate planning. If they are not resolved, you or your loved ones can be put in complicated, painful, and life-altering situations.

With a last will and testament only, your loved ones would still end up in probate. That is why a trust can be created in addition to your will in order to avoid probate. A comprehensive estate plan, that an estate planning lawyer like our friends at the Law Offices of Nakasaka includes a multitude of documents, each of which protect various wishes in different ways. These documents include a will, trust(s), financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and certificate of trust(s), to name a few.

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

What Our clients are saying

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Glenn P.

Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!

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Chris Curcio

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

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I met Peter soon after he started his practice in Philadelphia, PA. He and his team have always been there for me and my various inquiries throughout my life-changing events, corporate relocations. I have lived in various cities throughout the nation, I have never had a problem in contacting Peter or a member of his team. He and his office responds quickly and returns calls to me to fulfill my requests for information or to revise my estate needs while posing relevant thought-provoking questions that I need to consider to secure my future. One of Peter's best qualities is his ability to answer clients complicated questions in a simple way to ensure comprehension.

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Rocco D.

I have worked with Peter Klenk & his associates for some time now and I have found them to be ultra-qualified, knowledgeable and diligent about their work. I highly recommend them.

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Elizabeth Ray

Peter and his associates were a pleasure to work with. He explained the process clearly and provided assistance nearly instantaneously. Highly recommended for trusts-and-estates-related needs!

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