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Estate Planning Lawyer Bucks County, PA Estate Planning Lawyer Bucks County, PA

Estate planning is no longer just for the wealthy elite. Nowadays, it’s wise for nearly everyone to establish a sound estate plan. Doing so will protect your family after you’re gone and ensure respect for your final wishes. Estate planning is complicated, but estate planning is not inherently an ordeal. Start sooner than later with the assistance of an estate planning lawyer Bucks County, PA residents turn to when in need.

Here are the critical steps to estate planning.

Determine If You Need a Will or Trust

The first thing you have to do is decide if creating a will or trust is better for your situation. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and serve different purposes. A will takes effect after you die while a trust takes effect as soon as you establish it. A Will states who will receive your assets after you die. Further, the will appoints an executor to ensure respect for your wishes. A trust, on the other hand, can distribute your assets before your death or after your death. If you’re not sure about which option is best, consult your estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA.

Make a List of Your Assets and Debts

An estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, will require you to calculate your net worth. To do this, you will first have to create a list of your assets and debts. Then, add your assets, including your bank accounts and personal property, and subtract your liabilities, such as a mortgage, personal loans, and student loans.

Appoint Beneficiaries

To ensure that your assets get passed on to the right people after you die, appoint your beneficiaries in your estate plan. Take the time to ensure beneficiary names are correct so that they can go through the probate process with ease.

Make an Advance Health Care Directive

An advance health care directive is a legal document that authorizes a person to make important decisions about your medical care.  The directive applies should you become incapacitated. It’s a good idea to talk to your estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, about who you wish to appoint as your advance health directive. Ideally, this person should be honest, communicative, and trustworthy. This person is carrying out your wishes. Picking a person who is uncomfortable in hospitals is not a good idea. 

3 Reasons You Need an Estate Planner

There is a common misconception that estate planning is only for the very wealthy. If you have a family, a bank account, and own any possessions then you need an estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA. Here are three reasons why you need an estate planner.

1. Protect Your Family

Estate planning protects your family by thinking about their future without you. While it might not be a nice thought in the moment, your present discomfort can have huge impacts on your family later. If you are a parent with young children, it’s imperative that you have a documented plan for what will happen to them if something happens to you and your partner. Many families like to assume that some close friend or family member will step in in a crisis, but the additional uncertainty and trauma for your children that could potentially come without a plan aren’t worth it. Estate planning with Klenek Law allows you to express in a legal document who will take custody of your children and provides means to those individuals to care for their needs. 

2. Plan for Yourself

Not enough people realize that estate planning can also be a means for communicating your medical desires while you’re still alive. Are there specific decisions that you would want made for you? Who would make your medical decisions on your behalf? If you work with an estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA to create a living will, then you can give power of attorney to your partner, parent, sibling, or friend now in the event of a future emergency. Without this documented information, the court can give power over your medical decisions to whomever they think is appropriate and it might not be the person you would want making decisions for you. 

3. Minimize Taxes

Whether you have millions of dollars and assets or just a few thousand and a car, someone will get these things when you’re gone. By planning now, not only do you prevent family drama about who gets what, but you prevent the gifts you can give from being heavily taxed. An estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA can help you decide how to organize your assets in the most tax-efficient manner that will most greatly benefit your loved ones. 

Estate planning now is a loving gift that you can give your family later. Klenek Law can help you organize your affairs so that you and your family have peace of mind.

Questions To Ask an Estate Planning Lawyer

How Much Experience Do You Have?

You want an estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, from Klenek Law helping you make your final arrangements. You want to make sure your assets go to the beneficiaries you designate, your minor children have guardians in place, and your executor has clear instructions to follow. In addition to experience, you also need to know if the lawyer’s primary focus is on estate planning. There’s just no way you can keep up with all the changes to estate planning laws unless you’re a professional. 

What Challenges Do You See in My Estate Planning Wishes?

An estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, should be able to tell you if there are any red flags that could lead to difficulties with your estate planning. For example, in some instances, it could be problematic to disinherit your spouse or child. You may not have all the documents you need assembled yet to make a list of your assets. You might not have chosen a guardian for your children yet. You could be having trouble picking an executor of your estate. Any of these issues could make estate planning more complicated.

Do You Only Write Wills, or Do You Do Comprehensive Estate Planning?

Just as it wouldn’t make sense to go to two different doctors for the same stomach ache, it doesn’t make sense to go to two different estate lawyers. You want your estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, from Klenek Law to have one-stop shopping for all your estate planning needs, including will, trusts, life insurance, powers of attorney and more. 

How Do You Charge?

Many estate planning attorneys charge a flat fee for their work. Some might charge by the hour. You may want an attorney on retainer to review your estate plan documents on an annual or semi-annual basis to make sure they’re still the best arrangements for you. Your estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, should be up-front with you about their pricing.

How Long Does It Take for You To Finish My Estate Planning Documents?

There’s typically not a huge rush when it comes to estate planning. However, there are other professionals you need to consult with, including financial advisors, accountants, money managers and retirement specialists. While there is some overlap with estate planning, your Klenek Law attorney may not be an expert in other areas. You deserve to have all the expertise you can on your side.

 Think About a Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes a person to take care of your financial matters if you should become incapacitated. The person you select for this role should be honest, detail-oriented, and financially savvy.

How To Prepare For Choosing Your Estate Executor

You may find you need a lot of help while planning your estate. Not only may you need insight from a reputable estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, but you also need someone to carry out the wishes expressed in your estate planning documents and take care of your final expenses. Klenek Law wants to help you choose the right executor for your estate.

Choose Impartial Candidates

An estate executor must not give in to a beneficiary’s desires, which could conflict with your desires. Instead, your executor must remain impartial and treat all your heirs fairly. If your executor and beneficiaries cannot get along, or if your executor easily crumbles to outside influence, that could spell disaster for your estate and beneficiaries. Ensure your executor does not delay your estate or cost you money. 

Consider Trustworthiness

While thinking about executor candidates, focus on individuals you trust to make sound decisions. After all, this person has access to all the assets you spent your life earning, If you harbor the smallest of doubts about a candidate’s trustworthiness, you may want to strike that person off the list and let an estate planning lawyer in Bucks County, PA, help you think of someone else.

Aim for Detail-Oriented Candidates

As anyone from Klenek Law can tell you, it’s vital to have an executor with an eye for detail. Even if you have a simple estate, it still requires top-notch organization skills from the executor. Without proper recordkeeping or reporting, your estate could experience unnecessary delays. Worse, a poorly managed estate could open the executor to legal action. 

Choose a Younger Executor

Your executor must oversee your estate when you die, which means your candidates must outlive you. List candidates younger than you, so you may both rest easy. While you may choose an executor the same age as you, it makes sense to list a backup candidate younger than you and your original executor. That way, if you outlive your original choice, you do not have to scramble to find a replacement.

Think About Candidates Who Have the Time

Being an executor takes more time than you may realize. While making a list of candidates, think of individuals who have a lifestyle that allows them to give your estate and beneficiaries all the time and energy they need and deserve. Other than where candidates are in life right now, think about where their lives may take them. For instance, when the time comes to carry out your will, a currently childless candidate could have a family or business to tend to.

If you’re ready to draft an estate plan, you should speak to an estate planning lawyer in Bucks, County PA.  Call us as soon as possible. Estate planning can be quite complicated.  You want someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. An estate planning lawyer will help you create a plan that reflects your best interests.  Let us answer all of your questions. Contact Klenk Law today.

What Our clients are saying

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Maxine G.

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

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Sean Quinn

Great firm. Great people. Happy to refer folks in need to estate planning to Peter and his team. They do great work.

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Andrea Wilson

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

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Rachel Roney

Peter has done a great job with the estate planning for my father. He is very thorough and patient as we, the family need to make decisions.

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Brian M.

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

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