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The short answer is everyone. The plan might be simple or complex, but without a plan you might not address avoidable family conflicts and tax problems.
Estate planning is the process of developing a plan for the transfer of your property at your death. An estate plan can be simple or complex. The need for simplicity or a more complex plan will depend on your own assets, your family dynamics, the possible problems faced by your heirs, tax issues and legal limitations.
While it is not a requirement, naming alternative beneficiaries in your will and in your beneficiary designation forms is a good idea.
Estate planning is the process of making a plan from today until your death, and if done correctly, makes plans that can benefit your heirs long after your death.
Many people mistakenly believe estate planning only involves having a will drafted by a Philadelphia estate planning attorney. While having a will is an important step, a will by itself might not be able to address all of your unique tax and family issues. A proper estate plan involves an examination of your family, any other persons or charities that you may want to benefit at your death, as well as all your assets.
If you have life insurance, you likely have determined that if you die there is a financial need that must be addressed by your absence. Because of this determination, you pay a small amount each year in premium to the life insurance company for the guarantee that if you die a larger sum of money will be delivered to the named beneficiary.
All wills filed with the Philadelphia Register of Wills are public records. The Philadelphia Register of Wills has records going back to 1924, and all records in the Philadelphia Register of Wills office are open and available to the public.
Case included in selected Pennsylvania cases involving trusts and decedent’s estates
One of Attorney Glen Ridenour’s estate litigation cases has been selected for publication by the Pennsylvania Fiduciary Reporter. The case, in the Orphans’ Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, deals with the Estate of Robert T. Fawley, Sr., deceased.
Read the full case in PDF or Word format.
As the “Boomer Generation” ages, the United States’ elderly population has become the most rapidly growing segment of our population. In 2010, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reported that the population of people age 65 and older in the United States had reached 40.3 million, or 13% of the total population. This number will only continue to rise and the NCEA has projected that by 2050, this population will grow to 20%.
As the elderly population continues to increase, the concerns for interest and asset protection have increased as well. According to the Elder Law Advisory, 48% of nursing home residents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the NCEA reports that approximately 5.1 million American elders have some type of dementia. Because their conditions can leave them with symptoms of confusion, they become more susceptible to manipulation and can be more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and neglect. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of these abusers are family members.
Crafting an estate plan for a client means listening to what the client wants, explaining options to the client and then drafting a plan to meet the option selected. At times, a client’s circumstances require imaginative ideas. Here are some examples of imaginative estate planning that Klenk Law has utilized recently.
It remains a mystery to me why more estate planning attorneys do not use Protectors. A Protector is a person or persons you appoint to oversee a trustee with the power to fire and replace the trustee without the need of an attorney or a court hearing. No court hearing or attorney is necessary? Perhaps that is the reason why estate planning lawyers don’t use them? I use them in almost every trust. Even the most trusted person or bank can have problems, and if these problems negatively affect the trust, the Protector can “protect” the beneficiary without months of litigation.
Decades ago, when I started my practice as an estate-planning attorney, there were rumblings about how modern medicine was changing the way people died. For most of human existence death came quickly from an illness or injury about which physicians could do nothing. Now, advances in medical knowledge allow us to battle death, giving us more time with our loved ones. But this same gift often makes the dying process a long, slow struggle against an incurable disease or untreatable injury. Sometimes, after a long struggle with illness and with full knowledge that death is certain and the future holds nothing but suffering, a person will decide to voluntarily stop eating and drinking (“VSED”), which hastens the inevitable end.
Every modern medical advance to make our lives better brings with it new challenges and problems we must address.
What Our clients are saying
Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.
Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.
When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...
AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!
Great friendly staff
Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.
I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.
Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!
Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.
Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.
Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem
Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.
Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.
Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!
Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.
Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!
You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.
Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.
Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.
Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.
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.
Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.
Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.
Peter and his associates made things easy for us.
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