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Philadelphia Holographic Wills vs. Self-Proved Wills

Posted on Thu Aug 11, 2011, on Estate Planning

Can you write a valid Will on the back of an envelope in Philadelphia? The answer is yes….. but you are asking for trouble. Philadelphia Will Drafting Attorneys agree, Self-Proved Wills are preferable to Holographic Wills.

A Will is a statement declaring a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of the person’s property when the person dies. It affects titles to land, whom receives bank accounts and stocks and whom will serve in guardianships for minor children. Any discrepancy, error or omission can lead to years of litigation and bad feelings between the surviving family members. A Will is not something to take lightly.

Using an Irrevocable Trust to Reduce Taxes

Posted on Mon Jul 11, 2011, on Trusts

The new tax rules for 2011 and 2012 increase the applicable exclusion amount that can be used to give away $5 million free of gift tax. This provides a unique opportunity to shift wealth out of your estate to your children or other heirs and a vehicle to reduce estate tax. By using an irrevocable trust the wealth can be protected from your children’s divorces, creditors and from estate and inheritance taxes when those same assets later pass to or in further trust for your grandchildren when your children die.

Naming Someone Else’s Trust as Beneficiary of Your Will.

Posted on Sun Oct 18, 2009, on Trusts

Inheritances are often left directly to a person, which is called an “outright” distribution. At other times clients choose to have an inheritance held in Trust. Trusts at their most basic are arrangements where one person, the Grantor, transfers an asset to a second person, the Trustee, to hold for a third person, the Beneficiary. In some Trusts one person wears more than one of these hats, for example when a parent forms a Trust for a child (Beneficiary) and names that child as the Trustee. Trusts can be Irrevocable or Revocable (sometimes called “Living Trusts”), complex or simple and serve a multitude of purposes, but typically if a client wants to give money in trust for a Beneficiary the client will create the Trust in the client’s Will.
What if a client wishes to make a gift in his or her Will into a trust formed by someone else?

This question was addressed in an August 2006 Decree from the Orphans’ Court Division of the Court of Common Please of Chester County in the Estate of Elizabeth Harris, deceased. Thinking this case may have interest to you, I have written the following short article.

Common Grievances Against Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers

Posted on Mon Oct 5, 2009, on Estate Planning

An article in the October, 2008 Florida Bar Journal, written by a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer and former member of the Florida Grievance Committee, reported on the most common complaints heard by the Board against Estate Planning and Probate attorneys. This article describes how our firm guards against client complaints by addressing these issues before they arise.

Communication: The article reports that the most common complaint against Estate Planning or Probate lawyers is poor communication. Amazingly, some attorneys and lawyers simply fail to return phone calls. Our firm has a standing policy to return all phone calls within 24 hours. This policy keeps communication going with clients and, in most cases, keeps misunderstandings from arising. Most Probate and Estate Planning related cases affect clients unfamiliar with this area of the law. By answering questions and keeping clients informed we have built up an excellent practice. Satisfied estate planning clients in turn refer us to friends and family for other Estate Planning and Probate cases.

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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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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!

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Professional, cheerful, thorough and fast. Peter responded to my request for a consultation right away, and within just a few days my last will and living will were done. Rates are standard.

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We recently used Peter's firm to update our wills and trusts. We found he and his staff to be well-informed, professional and highly efficient. And equally valuable, Peter explains the law in terms that a layperson can readily understand.

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