As an estate litigation lawyer Allentown, PA families trust might explain, each state in the country has some type of slayer statute. Slayer statutes are laws that prevent a person from receiving assets, property, or any other form of inheritance if they are criminally responsible for the death of the person from whom they would be inheriting these items. The law also addresses what should happen to the decedent’s estate plans in the event this circumstance should occur.
At Klenk Law, we handle a wide range of estate litigation issues and can assist you and your family in the event there are concerns about who should and should not inherit from an estate. Our legal team has assisted clients for more than 25 years and are happy to meet and discuss how we may be able to help you, too. Call us at 484-224-3051 to request a free consultation with a trusted Allentown estate lawyer.
The Slayer Statute
Any experienced estate lawyer in Allentown, PA understands that the death of a loved one can be overwhelming, but when that death was caused intentionally by a family member or another heir, it can be devastating. These situations require the legal expertise and knowledge that an estate litigation attorney from Klenk Law can offer you. These cases are much more complex than just filing wills with courts in order to satisfy the probate process.
Situations that involve slayer statutes require skilled and seasoned attorneys at the helm. We can help you navigate the probate legal system with the required knowledge of the criminal justice system. An estate litigation lawyer Allentown, PA locals recommend from our firm can protect your rights.
Under the slayer law, a person who intentionally and unjustifiably causes the death of another person cannot inherit from the victim’s death. It is important to point out the “unjustifiably” criterium. If the person killed the victim in self-defense, then the slayer statute may not apply.
The law allows that since the criminal justice system often moves along slowly, the representative of the estate (i.e. executor and trustee) does not have to distribute any assets or property that the heir was supposed to inherit per the written wishes of the victim until the criminal determination and verdict have been made.
Unfortunately, there are many cases where an heir is suspect in a victim’s death but there is not enough evidence to charge the suspect. Even though there is no criminal case pending to halt distribution of assets to the suspect, other heirs can file a civil lawsuit to put a stop to the distribution. Plaintiffs (other heirs) can argue their case to have the court name the suspect as the murderer and prevent them from inheriting, similar to what would happen if the criminal courts convicted the suspect.
Contact an Estate Litigation Attorney for Assistance
Cases that involve the intentional murder of a loved one by an heir require a seasoned estate lawyer Allentown, PA community members turn to who is highly skilled in litigation. These are complex legal cases and can be highly emotional for families. Klenk Law will use all available resource to make sure your family gets the best possible outcome based on the detail of your case.
Call 484-224-3051 to set up a free consultation with an estate lawyer Allentown, PA offers.
Klenk Law: When You Need an Estate Lawyer Allentown, Pa Residents Choose with Confidence
An estate lawyer Allentown, PA residents trust I understand that many people who don’t think they need to worry about estate planning. Often, they don’t worry about estate planning either because they are not wealthy or they are not senior citizens. The reality is that every adult, no matter what their age or their financial situation, should have some form of estate planning arrangements. Without a plan, the state steps in to make decisions.
At Klenk Law, we have been assisting clients with all their probate and estate planning needs for more than 25 years and would be happy to meet and discuss all of our estate planning needs.
What Is an Estate Plan?
While no one wants to think about what happens when they pass away, it can bring many people the comfort they need to know that they can still take care of their family. By creating an estate plan, you can give your family the financial safety and comfort they need in life, and it gives you a chance to speak for yourself after your passing. When determining what you want in your estate plan and how you want to take care of your family, it can be tricky to know the legal jargon used or what exactly needs to be said. The experienced team of estate lawyers from Allentown, PA at Klenk Law are dedicated to helping people’s legacies live on and know the importance of taking care of your family. So, whether you would like to draft a will from scratch, revise an old one, or work on a more comprehensive estate plan, our team can help you.
Most estate plans include a will, a living trust, and a living will. As an estate lawyer Allentown, PA residents count on us to explain these documents. A will is a legal document that states a person’s last wishes. In your will, you will need to name an executor who will oversee the carrying out of those requests. It will also state how to divide your assets and property, as well as payment of your debts. If you have minor children, you can also designate who serves as their legal guardian.
For some people, a Revocable Living Trust, or Living Trust, can be an advantage. Like a will, a living trust expresses specifically your wishes regarding assets and property; however, a living trust bypasses the time-consuming and expensive probate process of some states such as New York and Florida. Wills must be filed with the court, making easier a will contest and creditors claims.
If your estate plan includes excluding a child, your estate plan should also address that child’s potential will contest. Will contests are complicated and expensive, so it would be wise to resolve and defuse a potential conflict in your estate plan.
Another common estate planning document is a living will/medical power of attorney. Using this document allows you to appoint a person to protect you when an unexpected illness leaves you unable to speak for yourself. Your plan should address who will represent you to resolve financial, medical, and legal issues should you become ill or incapacitated. As an estate litigation lawyer Allentown, PA relies on can explain and address these issues.
A living will is a directive to inform medical personnel what your wishes for your end-of-life care should be in the event you are unable to communicate those wishes. Learn about How Should I Create a Will?
Your estate plan can also specify the specifics of other issues, such as who will take care of your pets and what your wishes for your funeral and burial plans are.
With What Can an Estate Lawyer Help?
It can be incredibly beneficial to have an experienced Allentown, PA estate lawyer on your side to discuss every aspect of your property and estate. This could include an in-depth review of your financial affairs, your personal property, anticipated needs of your loved ones, and what your final health care wishes are. When you have determined what the best option is for you regarding your health care and will, we can take that next step toward writing one up.
Who Can I Name As the Executor To My Will?
While you can name any trusted person to be the executor to your will—like a child, a spouse, or someone else you trust—you can also make your attorney the executor. In other cases, it might make sense to have joint executors if you wish to have an attorney and a spouse as executors. Many people choose not to name someone an executor if they are also inheriting something from your will.
Where Do I Keep My Estate Plan?
In many cases, your estate plan is needed by the court when processing your estate. For this reason, it is best to keep your will in a safe area that can still be accessible by people you trust. For example, if you believe a safety deposit box at your bank is the best place, this could bring about complications if your family does not have access to this after your passing. Instead, many people opt for a safe at their house for storage.
Can My Will Be Contested?
Your will can be contested for a number of reasons, particularly if someone feels that the did not receive their fair share. On the other hand, if your will did not have the proper witnesses or you were not competent enough to sign your will, a judge can rule as to whether or not the will was valid. To ensure your estate plan is created exactly how you’d like to avoid prolonging your loved ones from receiving their inheritance, it is important to work with one of our detail-oriented estate lawyers from our Allentown, PA office.
Working with an Estate Lawyer Allentown, PA Trusts
There are many different factors that go into creating an estate plan. Because wills and estate planning can become complicated, the Allentown, Pennsylvania estate lawyers at Klenk Law can help guide you through the appropriate steps and determine exactly what you want in your will. Because every person is unique, the estate lawyers from Klenk Law in Allentown, PA will work with you to give you and your family the best outcome.
At Klenk Law, we have seen the sad results of what happens when a person dies without a valid estate plan. Far too often, this lack of documentation results in family disputes which spill into courtrooms. Judges then decide where assets pass, not you.
When you die, your loved ones must deal with their grief over your loss, so why add the stress of dealing with your estate to that grief. Contact an estate lawyer Allentown; PA relies on from Klenk Law today at 484-224-3051 to find out how we can help.