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Estate Lawyer Allentown, PAEstate Lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania

As an inheritance lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania, we at Klenk Law understand that it may be difficult for you to discuss your personal affairs.  Especially those which involve your death, assets, and who will receive them. However, we encourage you not to ignore this sensitive topic. Ignoring the inevitable leads to legal and financial implications that may burden those you love most. Guided by more than 25 years of experience, we want to see your family protected. We are ready to provide a comfortable environment to start planning your estate.

If you would like to learn more about our services, or are prepared to take the first steps, please call an Allenstown, PA inheritance lawyer from Klenk Law.

When You Don’t  Have a Valid Will in Allentown, PA

When someone in Pennsylvania dies without a valid will or estate plan, the assets pass through intestacy. The intestacy laws vary by state.  Intestacy also increases the chance of court involvement.

Intestate succession is meant to distribute assets in a way that resembles how an average person would do it had they drafted a will or estate plan. However, in practice, this isn’t always true.  There is a good chance the state rules do not reflect your wishes.

Even if you verbally express your wishes to another person, the state will usually refuse to consider this testimony. Furthermore, heirs may view with suspicion when a will is “suddenly discovered” outside a lawyer’s office. Such circumstances can trigger litigation. In general, when issues like these arise, you’ll want an inheritance lawyer in Allentown, PA on your side.

The Uniform Probate Code

Established in 1990, the Uniform Probate Code is at the core of most states’ legislation regarding estates and probate. In this code, the immediate family members, and not distant relatives, will be given the assets of the deceased. These members could include the surviving spouse, children, legally adopted children, and parents. If no immediate family members exist, the rules consider grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Should there be no remaining family members or relatives, the estate will likely go to the state where it may be auctioned off.

If you do not want this to happen to your assets, you should start planning an estate as soon as possible. An estate lawyer Allentown, PA residents trust from Klenk Law can guide you through the process to ensure your estate is legally binding.

Distributing an Estate

  • We are providing you a general overview following the Uniform Probate Code sections addressing the distribution of estate assets when no will exists.
  • If no will exists, the surviving spouse may be given the entire estate. Exceptions do apply; including:
  • The surviving spouse may receive the whole estate if there are no surviving children’ or parents.
  • When there are surviving parents, and no surviving children, in some states such as Pennsylvania the parents receive a portion.
  • If surviving children exist, the spouse may receive a portion of the estate with the remaining going to the children.
  • When the surviving children are not the children of the surviving spouse, they may receive a larger portion of the estate with the remaining going to the surviving spouse.
  • If no surviving spouse exists, but there are surviving children, they may be entitled to the entire estate.
  • When no surviving children or a surviving spouse exist, the surviving parents may receive the estate.
  • If there are no surviving children, spouse, or parents, siblings, grandparents, or other relatives may receive the estate.

Most people would not want their estate going to intestacy. Avoid intestacy through careful planning and preparation. To speak with an inheritance lawyer Allentown, PA clients recommend who can help, call Klenk Law.

Estate Planning and Divorce

When spouses are going through the process of divorce, many people fail to address estate planning. If you are in the process of getting divorced, you should ensure that your finances and assets are protected for your benefit and for the benefit of your heirs. It is highly possible that during the course of your marriage you and your spouse sat down and made estate plans. Or, you may be just now determining that it is time to create your own estate plan.

An experienced estate lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania based at Klenk Law can walk you through the process of how an estate plan will fit into the realities of your divorce. It is important to ensure your assets are properly protected during your divorce. Further, if you already created an estate plan with your spouse, you likely have certain items in that plan that you wish to change. To see how we can help, please speak with an estate lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania today.

Wills

Many spouses choose to create a will together during their marriage. When this happens, each spouse typically names the other as the primary beneficiary of the will when it comes to receiving assets. If this is how you and your spouse approached estate planning, you will likely want to throw out the original will and create a new one once you divorce. Some states make it harder for the testator to eliminate a spouse from their will, but there is usually a relatively straightforward way to distance your spouse and your estate plan. An estate lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania can help. 

Trust

Unlike a will, a trust can be much harder for someone to reverse. In fact, some trusts are irrevocable. You may have set up your trust so that you were the first trustee and thus able to move assets around. However, trusts can be much trickier to manage and change and it is best to speak with an estate lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania about the best way to manage this situation.

Accounts

Many people have payable-on-death accounts, such as a retirement account, checking, or savings accounts. Instead of going through the hassle of the probate process for your spouse (or another beneficiary) to get money, many bank accounts allow the account holder to directly assign money to a beneficiary. All that beneficiary needs upon your death is a death certificate and financial forms that the bank deems as necessary.

As the account holder, you should be able to go back to your financial institution and make any necessary beneficiary changes during or after your divorce. An estate lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania can answer any questions you may have about this challenge or any others related to estate planning during or post-divorce. Please don’t wait. Seek legal guidance by scheduling a consultation with our team today. We look forward to speaking with you. 

What Our clients are saying

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A Google User

Peter is a model attorney who puts his clients first at all costs. His extensive expertise in estate planning and tax planning was a great comfort as we began, and have expanded, our family. He is very thoughtful, generous, and quick witted. His approach towards his business has been an inspiration to his peer group, and his zest for life is extremely infectious. Without reservation, I highly recommend Peter as trusted and cherished counsel

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MJG

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

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Alan Kaplan

Peter has done our family's trust and estate work since our children were born. He is not only extremely knowledgeable and honest, but makes sure that our arrangements remain current with the changing legal landscape. I would give him my highest recommendation as a professional in his field.

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Ronald W.

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

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Glenn P.

Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!

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