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Klenk Law

Tag: Estate Planning Lawyer

Promise to Will a House in Chester County, Pennsylvania

Posted on Wed Sep 30, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My best friend repeatedly promised to give me her Chester County house in her will. She died recently and her son, who did not talk to her for 40 years, has filed a will from the 1970s that gives him everything. Can I challenge that Will?

If I understand the facts correctly, your best friend died and to the best of your knowledge, her most recent will was the one her son filed with the Chester County Register of Wills. That will is very old, but as far as you know, is the most recent will she signed. Though she verbally promised to give you the house in Chester County, she failed to write a new will.

If these are the facts, then you will not be able to successfully challenge the Will for two reasons.

Who to nominate as executor in Delaware County?

Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I live in Delaware County, and my will names my parents as co-executors. I thought this was a natural thing to do, but my parents are going through a divorce. What are my options?

Naming your parents as co-executors when they do not get along is a bad idea. Co-executors have to work well together and cooperate. Parents who are having a dispute can make a small argument into a family feud that lasts decades.

You should investigate changing your will to name another family member or, if you have none that you trust, to name your Delaware County estate planning attorney. Your lawyer will charge a fee, but that fee will be small when compared to the potential costs of litigation and family turmoil. When named executor, I normally ask that the document state that I receive my hourly fee rather than a percentage of the estate, which many lawyers take. I find the hourly fee is fairer for everyone involved.

Protecting New Jersey Inheritance for LGBT Partner

Posted on Sat Sep 26, 2015, on LGBT Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I love my partner, but she is terrible with money. If I leave her an inheritance, it will be spent quickly and she will be left with nothing. How do I leave her an inheritance but protect it for her?

Recognizing your partner’s inability to handle money allows you to set up an estate plan that can help make sure that your partner will always have enough money. There are many ways to set up a trust for his benefit. The best option will depend on what type of assets you have and how much flexibility you wish to give the Trustee.

Pennsylvania LGBT Estate Planning to Preserve Benefits

Posted on Fri Sep 25, 2015, on LGBT Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My partner and I have been together for over 25 years. Marriage would be nice, but I have the most money and his family has a history of long life. I worry that if I die and I give him everything, he may outlive those funds.

“Veteran” lesbian and gay couples cannot be blamed for hesitating to tie the knot. After years of planning for retirement as two single people, getting married late in life can throw a curveball into the financial and estate planning game. Getting married changes your tax status and eligibility for various government benefits. So, like any other huge life decision, marriage should be examined with an eye for retirement and asset protection efficiencies.

Where should I store my power of attorney in Bucks County?

Posted on Tue Sep 15, 2015, on Power of Attorney

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have signed a General Power of Attorney giving my girlfriend the power to act for me, but I don’t want her to have it yet. I only want her to have it when (and if) I become unable to care for myself. Should I keep it in my safe at home? We both live in Bucks County, so she is close by.

The problem with putting your General Power of Attorney in your safe is that if you become incapacitated, your girlfriend will likely be unable to get into the safe. You could give her the combination to the safe, but that runs contrary to your wish. If she has the combination, she can get to the General Power of Attorney at any time. This is a common problem.

Changing the Philadelphia Power of Attorney

Posted on Mon Sep 14, 2015, on Power of Attorney

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Years ago, I gave my husband a General Durable Power of Attorney. Now I am divorced, living in Montgomery County, and I want to give Power of Attorney to my daughter. My Ex will not give me the old Power of Attorney. Can I revoke or void the Power of Attorney if he still has the original?

Yes, you can void a Power of Attorney at any time as long as you have the requisite mental capacity. Your situation will be a little more complex, as you have given the original document to your former agent. I have not seen that Power of Attorney, but it may have a paragraph that states that banks and others need not confirm with you that the document is still in power.

Philadelphia Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trusts – What You Need to Know

Posted on Fri Sep 11, 2015, on Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am worried about having someone sue me in the future and would like to shelter my assets from creditors. I have read about Irrevocable Trusts and Revocable Trusts, do they both help avoid creditors and lawsuits?

A Revocable Living Trust is a wonderful tool with many uses, but it does nothing to help you avoid your creditors. Because a Revocable Living Trust is “Revocable.” That means you can take the assets back into your name at any time. Because you can take the assets back, any future creditor you have or any future lawsuit judgement against you can be enforced against the trust.

Do I have to move my Gloucester County house into my Revocable Living Trust?

Posted on Wed Sep 9, 2015, on Revocable Trusts and Living Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I had a Revocable Living Trust created several years ago, but I have not put anything into it. I own my Philadelphia home, a few bank accounts and investment accounts. I want everything to pass to my daughter at my death, but she lives in California, so I want the transfer to be easy. Should I move my house from my name into the Revocable Trust?

The goal you have stated in forming your Revocable Living Trust was to make things easier on your daughter who lives in California. Though your intentions are good, without moving the house into the trust you really have done nothing to help her.

The basic idea surrounding a Revocable Living Trust is that during your lifetime you either move your assets into the trust or you set things up so that at your death, they pour into the trust.

What if my son won’t leave my Bucks County house at my death?

Posted on Tue Sep 8, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My son has very little ambition and lives in my basement. My other children are successful and have their own houses. At my death, I want my house sold and the money divided equally between my three children, but I am sure that my son will refuse to leave the house. What can I do to make sure the house is sold?

Children who will not leave the house are a common problem, and a source of family conflict. By recognizing the potential problem, you can help defuse the potential conflict.

I suggest that we amend your will to state clearly that the house must be sold immediately following your death.

What is a Spendthrift Trust in Gloucester County, New Jersey?

Posted on Mon Sep 7, 2015, on Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I was told that I should make the Irrevocable Trusts I am setting up for my children “Spendthrift” Trusts. What does that mean, and what is the advantage of a Spendthrift Trust?

A Spendthrift Trust refers to an Irrevocable Trust created for a beneficiary that does not give the beneficiary the right to assign his or her interest in the trust to a third person, so that the trust assets are not subject to the beneficiary’s liabilities or creditor claims.

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