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An Estate Planning Lawyer Allentown, PA Discusses Circumventing Familial Conflict   

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When you need the help of an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, recommends, contact Klenk Law to see how we can help. Avoiding probate is possible, especially if you ask a probate lawyer in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for help. If you do not want to go through the probate process, it is prudent you take actions that go beyond a will. Utilize several different approaches, such as a living trust or creating a family-limited partnership.

If you don’t understand why you would want to avoid the probate process, consider these reasons.

Your Heirs Won’t Have to Go Through the Probate Process.

Our estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, turns to shares that you can simplify your estate if you choose to place your assets in a trust. In some situations, this can save time and money. Further, if your children live far away, they can manage the process remotely. Also, revocable trusts are not published, so your plan remains private. It may also enable them to focus on healing from any grief they might have.

Your Assets May Be Given to Your Heirs More Quickly.

Depending on your situation, a revocable trust may speed up the process. If so, and if your heirs are relying on their inheritance, a quicker process has an advantage. Our estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, relies on, will tell you that in some situations, the probate process can be slower. If you prefer, there are specific stipulations on the trust, an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA now can include.

Avoid Conflict.

If you expect conflict between the heirs after your death, a Revocable Trust can be useful. By working with your estate planning lawyer, especially one who is familiar with Will Contests, they can put up roadblocks against frivolous will contests. Litigation can cost tens of thousands of dollars. An estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, turns to can help you avoid spending money and time on expensive litigation.  

You Can Avoid Public Attention.

Probate is public. Any documents submitted to the probate court become a matter of public record. Therefore the public can view what your heirs have inherited. You may desire privacy whether or not there were any disputes. Consider a trust if you value your privacy or have concerns about the public finding out about your estates’ assets and the estate’s value.

Contesting a Will.

For an individual to contest a will, they must satisfy specific requirements. If the complaint does not have standing, the probate judge will likely throw it out of court—a costly mistake for the plaintiff. If the plaintiff properly petitions the court, then the judge can invalidate the questionable will. When successful, the judge discards the challenged will. If there are no other wills, then the estate is divided as if the deceased had no will. As a result, the probate court will rule on who should inherit which of the estate’s assets and in what amounts. It is, therefore, critically important for all adults to have a valid will in place. Update your will after significant life events occur. With the assistance of our estate planning lawyer Allentown, Pennsylvania; you can better ensure that your loved ones never have any cause to contest your will after you’re gone. 

Types of Will Contests.

If you’re already in a position where you or someone else is considering contesting the will of someone who has passed away, a Philadelphia, PA estate planning lawyer can focus the claim. Here are potential claims:

The testator did not legally sign their will.

Pennsylvania state law is very clear about how individuals must sign their last will. Even attorney-drafted wills are subject to challenge. It still may be vulnerable. An estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA accesses for support, can examine the document to determine if it appears to be valid.

The testator was not of sound mind at the time they signed the will. 

Though a testator may have signed their will, this does not guarantee that they were of sound mind. Did they understand the contents and directions of the will? The law recognizes that mental or physical illness may confuse. The elderly and ill are subject to manipulation. An experienced estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA trusts, seeks out the proof needed from a doctor’s examination or other sources. We search for evidence that the testator lacked the necessary capacity. Conversely, an attorney may be able to help prove that the contents of a will reflected the deceased’s wishes. 

The testator was unduly influenced. By another party to write their will in such a way that it did not reflect their exact wishes. It’s a sad fact that ill and elderly persons are often taken advantage of to get their assets upon their passing. If you feel that this happened to a loved one, don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA clients for support. 

The Differences Between a Revocable and an Irrevocable Trust.

When creating a trust for your assets, there are two types to consider: an irrevocable trust and a revocable one. While each one has both advantages and drawbacks depending on your needs, it’s always a good idea to speak with an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA, to determine the best type of trust for you.

What Is a Revocable Trust?

As the name implies, a revocable trust, sometimes called a living trust, can be modified at any time. You can work with an attorney from Klenk Law to change beneficiaries, add or remove assets and adjust how your belongings are handled after your death. With this type of account, you retain ownership of all the property in the trust. When the grantor, or owner of the trust, passes away, the trust can take the place of a will to distribute property to the beneficiaries.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Revocable Trust?

While it seems like having flexibility with a trust would be advantageous, there are reasons why some people choose to avoid them. Since these people are still the owners of any items listed in the trust, creditors can collect them to pay their debts after the grantor’s death. While some people prefer this over having their beneficiaries liable for their debts, others don’t like the idea that an outside person can decide which items go to their heirs. Federal and local entities also calculate estate taxes on these assets, lowering the total amount of money available to beneficiaries. If you have questions about a revocable trust, work with an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA. 

What Is an Irrevocable Trust?

An irrevocable trust doesn’t have the flexibility that a revocable trust has. As soon as an irrevocable trust is signed, it becomes permanent. When people move assets into an irrevocable trust, the owner of that property releases all liability and no longer has any ownership of those things. Since there is very little flexibility in creating these trusts, it’s best to work with an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA.

Why Would Someone Choose an Irrevocable Trust?

The main benefit of this type of trust is that the assets can avoid being included as part of your taxable estate. Additionally, if the trust is drafted with this in mind, these assets are protected from collection activity from creditors after your death. An attorney with Klenek Law can help you determine which type of trust is best for you. 

Get Help From an Estate Planning Lawyer Allentown, PA Recommends Now!

Many people know they need to prepare for the end of their life. Thinking about your own mortality is a hard thing to do, but it’s essential, so you don’t leave your loved ones with a mess after you’re gone.

However, it can be confusing trying to determine which documents you need and which you don’t. Addressing all your needs can become complicated because some estate planning documents have similar names.

What is a will?

Many people are referring to a will when they say they want an estate plan. But what is a will?

Our estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, knows that the last will is a legal document that allows you the power to say who receives assets upon your death. It also allows you the opportunity to discuss how to deal with liabilities after your death.

This document gives you great control over the distribution of your personal items. For example, if your son enjoys your coin collection or your daughter enjoys your collection of crystal glasses. A will allows you the opportunity to give specific items to specific heirs.

But it’s also essential that you include the full names of the people you want to leave specific items. An estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, trusts will tell you that merely saying that you want to give an item to your daughter may not be sufficient.

What is a living will?

A living will is another component of a complete estate plan. But it is very different from the last will. A living will does not discuss how to distribute your assets. Instead, a living will spell out what steps you want to be taken, or not, during your end-of-life care. You complete your living will by making certain decisions within the document. To understand these options, contact an estate planning lawyer Allentown; PA residents are reliant upon. Doing this allows doctors and your family to know what you want to happen. They cannot ask you once you are unable to speak for yourself. A living will might be the least pleasant document to discuss with your Philadelphia estate planning lawyer. But it’s also one of the most important.

You need both documents and more.

You need more than just these two documents to have a full estate plan. Visiting Klenk Law will give you the guidance you need to ensure your loved ones don’t inherit a mess. Instead, put your things in order.

By working with a team of experienced estate planning lawyers Allentown, PA residents can count on. You take the guesswork out of your estate plan. You don’t want to leave your heirs with a mess. Speak with someone you can trust. Settling your affairs before you are gone is a complex and cumbersome process. You shouldn’t trust this to just anyone. You’ve worked hard your entire life – don’t skimp at the end.

Completing your estate plan is a crucial step to take, and you shouldn’t try to handle it alone. You deserve the skilled and trusted advice of our estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA residents trust. We can provide you with the guidance you need with the compassion you deserve. 

If You Want to Avoid Probate, You Should Choose a Qualified Estate Litigation Lawyer

Whether you are sure that you want to avoid probate or you would like to explore all of your options, you should speak with an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, residents turn to when in need. At Klenk Law, we listen to your needs and utilize helpful estate planning tools. We protect your assets. We strive to minimize costs and meet your objectives. If you would like to talk with an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, clients recommend, please call our office now.

Family Discussions and Estate Planning

Although people do not like to think about their mortality, the reality of life is that it will end one day. Our estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA residents respect, shares that this is a primary reason for ensuring that your estate plan is complete. Map out your wishes. Feel comfortable that you have taken care of your family. 

A Fidelity Investments study revealed that many adult children and their parents avoid estate planning discussions. It would help if you discussed retirement finances, elderly care, and will and inheritance issues. But many people delay these matters. The study found four out of 10 families never address the issue.

The Intra-Family Generational Finance Study surveyed parents 55 years or older with an adult child of 30 years or older. The parents had a minimum of $100,000 in investable assets. The participating adult children had a minimum of $10,000 saved in an IRA, 401(k) or other retirement accounts.

When to Talk:

Despite the high number of families who have not broached the subject, 75 percent of participants said it is important to discuss finances. However, an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA trusts, shares that when these conversations should take place was a source of disagreement among parents and children. Over 60 percent of parents and children disagreed on the timing. Parents think it is better to wait until after they retire, but their adult children want to decide these matters well before their parents’ retirement or medical problems become an issue.

Other discrepancies between the answers given by parents and adult children include:

  • Adult children think their parents worry about finances more than double (56 percent) the amount of time the parents actually worry (23 percent).
  • Parents and their adult children also disagree on who will care for the parent in the event they are no longer to care for themselves. Almost half of the children say they will be the caregiver if their parents become ill, but only six percent of parents expect their children to take care of them.

Can You Disinherit Family Members?

To disinherit someone is to leave someone out of your will who has a reasonable expectation of inclusion. Disinheriting someone can result in hurt feelings and possibly a challenge to your will.

The law gives you the significant latitude to decide who will and will not inherit from you following your death. In most cases, you have no obligation to include someone in your will. However, there are a few exceptions.

Spouses

Spouses have a special status when it comes to inheritance. Your spouse shares your property and assets, such as the home you live in together, and you can’t put provisions in your will depriving your spouse of what he or she is entitled to. Your spouse then has the option of making a spousal election, giving them a share of your estate no matter what your will may say.

Adult Children

In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you are not required to include children in your will. However, you should be aware that disinheriting them is likely to cause hurt feelings and resentment in your disinherited children toward those who are not, especially if the language you use to disinherit them is particularly harsh. On the other hand, you do not want to just leave out the name(s) of the disinherited child or children, or the judge may consider it an accidental oversight and supersede your wishes.

One of our attorneys can help you word your will in a way that adequately reflects your wishes and is resistant to legal challenges. Schedule a consultation by contacting our office.

Our estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, residents, knows that as complicated as the topic may be, it is essential for families to plan ahead before the time comes. If you and your family have had difficulties making plans for the future, consider contacting an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA relies on. We can help guide you through planning. We can help you decide which options are the ones that are the best for you.

The Essential Estate Planning Checklist

Estate planning is incredibly complex, and death can be a taboo subject for some. Add these two things together and you’ve got a complicated problem and limited people to talk to about solutions. If you find yourself a little stuck in your estate planning process, follow this checklist and hire an estate planning lawyer to make sure your wishes are followed exactly:

Know Your Assets

The first step in planning your estate is taking inventory of what you can pass on, then you can determine who gets what. There are four main types of assets:

  • Personal
  • Joint
  • Trust
  • Superannuation

Assets held only in your name are personal assets.  Assets held together with someone else are joint assets. For example, a joint checking account is a joint asset. Assets held in a trust and managed by a trustee are trust assets. 

Pick an Estate Administrator

An estate administrator is responsible for disseminating the assets of your estate to the named beneficiaries, paying outstanding debts, and ending any remaining memberships or accounts. There may be additional duties based on the unique needs of your estate so it is highly recommended that you name someone you trust completely.

While you may consult with your spouse to select a person you both trust, it is not recommended you select your spouse for this duty. After the death of a life partner, they may be extremely distraught and not want the additional responsibilities of the estate administrator while they process their grief. Grief can also directly impact memory skills and decision-making, and they may not be in the best state of mind to handle those responsibilities.

Edit Regularly

A common mistake people make when estate planning is thinking that once they finish the initial plan, they’re done. In reality, your estate plan should be reviewed and updated regularly, at least every 5 years. If a major life event happens like the birth of a child or grandchild, your financial situation changes or you fall ill, you should promptly speak with an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA to adjust for those changes.

Lastly, you may want to ensure that your estate administrator is provided with a new copy of the final, notarized will every time you update. This guarantees both that they are up to date on changes and that you have a backup copy in a secondary location should anything happen to your home.

Estate planning is overwhelming but necessary for everyone. If you’re feeling lost consult with a lawyer to safeguard your family and hard-earned assets.

3 Simple Ideas for Organizing Your Finances

Financial health is important and can affect other areas of life, such as mental health and relationships. Whether you just got your first job or have been making money for a long time, here are three ideas for getting a great handle on your finances and making the most of your financial resources. 

Faithful Budgeting 

The most basic place to start to get ordered financially is with a budget. While it may not seem like the most exciting task to be given (because it really isn’t), making and keeping a budget is the gamechanger that will put you in the driver’s seat and get your money working for you. It takes discipline, of course, to really follow a budget, and that should ultimately be the goal of making one, but keep in mind that at first, your budget might be more like an “ongoing record” of your income and expenses. Just keep at it, and you’ll thank yourself later when your wealth starts to really grow and compound. 

Diversified Investment 

An investment portfolio is simply the total collection of various investments that a person owns, including stocks, bonds, real estate, IRAs and even valuable artwork. If you haven’t started such a portfolio, consider it an important next step to getting a good handle on your finances and making your money work for you. Or perhaps you already have a well-established portfolio of investments but are starting to wonder how to handle it as you grow older. That’s where you should hire an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA, to help you figure out what actions to take and how to best organize your assets and wealth. Klenek Law is a great option for finding such a lawyer. 

Estate Planning 

Finally, estate planning itself is important in the big picture for handling your finances well. Estate planning ensures that when you pass away (whether you’re expecting to or not) your money and investments will go to the right people and places. And by the way, this isn’t just for people of retirement age; you can start the process of getting your affairs in order as soon as you want to and revisit the many aspects of your plan as needed later on. Just be sure to hire an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA, such as one from Klenek Law, to help you cover everything you need to cover. 

Organizing your finances may seem daunting, but it can actually be a joyful task when you realize how much it benefits you in the long run. These three simple ideas can get you started on the road to better financial health as you move forward on your financial journey. 

Estate Planning Lawyer Allentown, PA

Planning for your future is more than planning for your retirement, which is why reaching out to our Allentown, PA estate planning lawyer from Klenk Law can be an excellent place to start. Our team can assist with answering your questions and developing an estate plan that outlines your wishes and protects your legacy. When mapping out your estate plan, it’s a good idea to reach out to our team for the services you deserve. 

What should I bring to the first meeting with my lawyer? 

When you first schedule an appointment with us, our firm will advise on bringing the proper documents. To ensure the process moves as smoothly and efficiently as possible, first gather information about your estate and assets. It may be helpful to bring the following: a list of questions to help you stay on track, information about retirement accounts, financial statements, property documents, marital agreements, and your list of beneficiaries.   

What elements make up an estate plan? 

An estate plan makes up several key documents and outlines your plans for the future. This includes how assets will be distributed; plans should you be unable to make decisions on your own, and more. An estate planning attorney in Allentown, Pennsylvania, can assist with putting together crucial documents that might include: the last will and testament, trusts, medical directives, beneficiary designations, and power of attorney. 

How long will it take to solidify my estate plan?

Most estate plans can come together rather quickly. However, this will depend upon how long it takes you to gather the necessary information, appoint beneficiaries, and take an inventory of your estate. Additionally, for larger estates, the process can take much longer. On average, completing a typical estate plan takes anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months. 

What is the best way to identify an executor? Should there be a backup?

One of the most critical decisions you will have to make during the estate planning process is identifying a person who will act as the estate executor when the time comes. When making this decision, you will want to choose someone you can trust to carry out your wishes as intended. Always be sure to identify an alternate executor and have conversations with those you are considering to make sure they are up for the task. 

Why is it important to identify beneficiaries? 

Appointing beneficiaries by naming them on your accounts is critical, and in many situations, you can do it without a lawyer’s help.  By doing so, these assets may be able to circumvent probate. Additionally, remember to identify backup beneficiaries should your original beneficiary not be available. 

Klenk Law knows that the act of developing an estate plan may be shelved for another day. However, when you reach out to our firm, we can guide you through the process from start to finish. Developing an estate plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated, especially when you enlist a professional from our team. Get started today by scheduling your first appointment with our Allentown, Pennsylvania estate planning lawyer. 

How do I start estate planning?

Estate planning may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Estate planning is simply the process of organizing your finances and final wishes in the event of your death. This can include anything from creating a will to setting up trusts. Here are some tips on how to get started with estate planning: 

  1. Make a list of your assets and liabilities. This will help you determine what you need to protect in case of death.
  2. Meet with an attorney who can help you create a will and other estate planning documents. 
  3. Talk to your family about your final wishes, including funeral arrangements and organ donation preferences. 
  4. Get informed about estate taxes and how they may affect your estate.
  5. Make sure you have designated beneficiaries for all of your retirement and bank accounts.
  6. Review your insurance policies and make sure they will be adequate to cover your final expenses.
  7. Keep all important documents in one place, such as your will, trusts, property deeds, and financial statements.
  8. Update your estate plan as your life changes – births, marriages, divorces, and deaths.

You don’t have to do this alone. An estate planning attorney in Allentown, Pennsylvania can walk you through the process of starting an estate plan that suits your needs and goals. Contact our office today for more information!

Why you should choose Klenk Law Firm as your estate planning Lawyer in Allentown, PA

Klenk Law Firm is an estate planning law firm in Allentown, PA. We’re proud to be one of the most trusted and respected names in Pennsylvania. Our lawyers have over 20 years of experience helping families with wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and more.

We offer consultations.  You can get all of your questions answered then decide to hire us. We will sit down with you one-on-one.  We will discuss various plans. We will work with you over time, no matter what stage of life or business venture might be in. If there are other areas where we think we could help out, then don’t hesitate to ask! There’s no reason why anyone should go through life without having an experienced professional by their side who they can count on whenever they need them!

Let Klenk Law Firm take care of everything so that you don’t have to! It doesn’t matter if it’s just something small like creating a will or setting up trusts.  Or if it’s something more complex such as helping someone set up an LLC or corporation.  We have the experience and knowledge to get it done right the first time.

When is the best time to start estate planning?

Now! The best time to start estate planning is before you need it. If you wait until the last minute, there may not be enough time for your assets and wishes to be executed in a way that reflects who you are and what you care about. The earlier you start, the more comprehensive your plan can be. There are many things that can change over time.  Your health, your wealth, and your family situation are all fluid.  So it’s important to have a plan that can adapt as needed. If you wait until something happens, it may be too late to make some of the changes you would have wanted.

You don’t want to leave anything up to chance.  When it comes to protecting your loved ones after death or incapacity, have a plan. That’s why we work hard every day on behalf of our clients.  Our clients deserve the peace of mind knowing that their affairs are being handled by professionals who care about them.  We see our clients as people first and foremost. Let us put our expertise at work for you!

Contact Klenk Law for Help

If you are concerned with the future of your estate and what could happen to those inherited funds, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer at Klenk Law. Find out what kinds of options you may have.

Our estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA, trusts can discuss all the different estate planning tools. We can help you make sure your family is taken care of when you are no longer here. In addition to wills, many of our clients also establish one or more of the many types of trusts. Several trust options are available under state and federal laws. We can also show you how your estate can avoid probate.

Call our experienced estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA can count on from Klenk Law to find out how we can help.

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