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Tag: Estate Planning

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.

Klenk Law

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.

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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.

Klenk Law

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.

Klenk Law

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.

Klenk Law

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.

Klenk Law

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.

Klenk Law

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.

Klenk Law

Can I change my Uncle’s Gloucester County Will with his consent?

Posted on Mon Sep 7, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the executor under my Uncle’s will (he is alive and living in Gloucester County). I would like to make a minor change to his will. My uncle agrees to the change. Do I need a lawyer to change the will?

Each competent person over the age of 18 can have a will, but only that person can change or modify the will. Your uncle is free to change the Will if he is still competent. The Executor is the person who carries out the terms of the Will after death, so right now you have no power to do anything, especially make changes.

Klenk Law

How do I keep my children from evicting my second husband from the house?

Posted on Fri Sep 4, 2015, on Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My second husband and I live in a house that I own outright. If I die, I want him to be able to live in the house as long as he chooses, but I want my children to inherit the house when he moves out or dies. How do I keep them from evicting him from the house?

Avoiding conflict between children from the first marriage and the second spouse can be challenging, but if you are honest about the personalities involved, there is usually a way to satisfy everyone. One option in your case is to form a trust in your will that holds your house.

Klenk Law

What Our clients are saying

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Peter Klenk & Associates is my go-to firm for estate planning and advice in probate and estate administration. Peter and his attorneys are top-notch and exceptionally responsive. Peter has the knack of being able to explain extremely complex tax and estate planning issues in a manner that clients are easily able to understand and comprehend allowing them to confidently make important decisions.

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Peter Klenk and his associates are responsive and professional - It is a pleasure to work with their team. If you have needs in estate planning or administration, they are the firm to go to in the Philadelphia area!

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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.

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