Nobody ever looks forward to the time when they have to start thinking about their mortality. Passing on is a part of life, but planning for your departure may not be the most simple task. An estate planning lawyer King of Prussia, PA residents rely on, like at Klenk Law, can help guide you through the basics of estate planning to help make things a little easier.
Most people are unprepared.
It is estimated that only up to one-half of Americans have written a will. As unpleasant as the task may feel, writing an estate plan can help ensure your loved ones receive a part of your legacy and that your wishes are carried out. Working with an estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can help prevent your family members from frustration and confusion if they have to handle your remaining assets on their own. Thinking about the estate legalities is the last thing your family will want to do during their grieving period.
We all know that at some point in our life we need to create a will. A will is an important document. By having working with an estate planning lawyer King of Prussia, PA trusts and preparing a will, it means that you get to dictate where your property goes or who is the guardian of your children, instead of the state. Everyone can agree that wills are crucial document to have, but many of us aren’t sure how to write it. In this post, we’ll walk you through some basic information on how to write a will and what things you should think about including.
The definition of a will is a legal document where the person states who they want managing their estate and how they want their personal property to be distributed after their death. While it may sound like something morbid to write, you would hate to be in a situation where you died suddenly and left your children and family members fighting with the state over your possessions.
Most people will update their will multiple times throughout their lifetime due to life events and changes. However, when getting started, there are some basic things you should include in your will. Working with an estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can help you get started on the right track.
There are also some things you shouldn’t include in a will. Don’t put conditions on your gifts i.e. I am giving this much money to my daughter if she gets married. It’s not fair to the recipient and it could hurt your legacy. Also, don’t leave property to your pets. It only makes things more complicated for your family members trying to deal with your estate.
Now that you know what you should put in your will, you can start writing it. There are several templates that you can use to help you write a will. You can use a will book or software built specifically to write wills, or you can find a form online to fill out. The bottom line is that your will needs to be a document that is formal and typed up.
Once you’ve settled on a template and have written the contents of your will, you need to make it legal. In order to make a will legal, first, you need to sign it. Signing the will makes this a legal document. However, just signing it yourself does not make it a binding will. You need to also have two witnesses sign your will. Many states also require a notary.
While it’s possible to write a will yourself, if you are at all worried about the format or legalizing your will, you can always reach out to an estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA, who can help guide you through the process.
Now you have everything you need to start writing that first will. By writing a will, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your family and assets are taken care of in case something happens to you. Learn about Why Do People Avoid Creating a Will?
A will is a written statement on how you want your assets to be divided amongst your loved ones after you pass away. If you were to die without a will in place, the state then decides what family members get. Your wishes are disregarded. Set up a plan that reflects your wishes or you can leave it up to the courts.
Begin thinking about your estate plan by brainstorming. Get a pen and paper and jot down the names of those closest to you, in addition to a list of all your assets. A King of Prussia, PA estate planning lawyer may also advise you to include names of people who you want to exclude from receiving any portion of your remaining assets. Good preparation can help make sure these people will not be able to contest your will in court. You may want to ask yourself and answer the following questions:
Once you have finished your will with the help of a King of Prussia, PA estate planning lawyer at Klenk Law, you will want to revisit and revise your estate plan periodically. Life events bring change. A baby’s birth, remarriage, divorce, or other changes that may occur. Life changes trigger the need for revisions. Talk with your beneficiaries about their inheritance, so they are generally aware of what your plan. Talking about these things openly with your loved ones now prevents significant future disputes.
If you or a loved one dies without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” Your property and assets will be divided amongst your heirs according to a fixed formula determined by the laws of the state in which you live. In other words, if you do not make a will, the inheritance statute defines who gets your assets. The inheritance statute contains a structured and rigid formula. The rules include no consideration or exceptions for anyone other than those who are named in the law.
When there is no will in place, the probate court appoints a personal representative. This person could be known or unknown to you. So a stranger may manage your entire estate. The cost involved with probate might be higher than if you had created a will. Further, the management of your estate may be subject to more court supervision.
If you have specific wishes about your property and assets, don’t let the intestacy laws divided your assets. By enlisting the assistance of an estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA, your estate can be distributed in the way you wish. At Klenk Law, we understand the sensitivity and delicacy of creating plans for your estate. We aim to make this as comfortable as possible for you. Don’t end up having your estate subjected to the formula outlined in your state’s inheritance statute law.
As a King of Prussia, PA estate planning lawyer can explain, your loved ones can be burdened if you die without a will. Their loss of you is distressing enough, why compound the stress with concern about how assets and managing final affairs? It can be tense and traumatic. Passing without a will can cause other issues to arise, such as delays due to the probate process.
In truth, a will plans for more than just your assets. It also provides your loved ones with a clear direction concerning how you would like your estate distributed. Wills can outline your funeral instructions and who will fulfill guardianship over your children. Without no will in place, it is left to someone else to make these decisions. Judges usually appoint an executor, and the court will decide the best way to settle your estate.
Once you know the importance of estate planning, it’s time to consider how you’d like to divide your assets. An estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can help you format your will and make sure all your assets are accurately represented, but discussing the matter with your children can be a different beast entirely. If you need a little help, an estate planning lawyer at Klenek Law can help you navigate the discussion.
Before you get your estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA to write up your will, you should have a frank discussion with your children to establish expectations as soon as possible. If you wait to discuss your will with them, they may feel slighted, or like you’re trying to cheat them out of their inheritance without their input. At the very least, you should mention that you’re discussing your estate planning and that a more in-depth conversation will follow.
If you have more than one child, it may be a good idea to talk to them one-on-one before you have a group discussion. You can get an idea of their individual expectations, they can ask questions they may not want to ask in front of their siblings, and you can discuss which of your assets are up for discussion. This talk is absolutely essential if one sibling is going to be inheriting more than the others. It’s better to explain why, in person, than to have someone find out after the fact.
An estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can likely think of many reasons why a parent would leave more of their assets to one child, or not leave all of their assets solely to your children. You may want to donate to your favorite charity, or maybe one of your children will need more money to uphold a certain quality of life, and that simply isn’t an issue for their siblings. If you can have an honest conversation about why you’re dividing your assets the way you are, you can avoid nasty arguments later.
While an estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can help you organize a will, the communication is often left for families to handle alone. Lawyers at Klenek Law can give you more tips on discussing your will with your family to help make estate planning a breeze.
There are many ways an estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can make estate planning easier, but many individuals don’t know the first step. The lawyers at Klenek Law can help you prepare your will, but there are many other steps to help make your executor’s life easier after you pass. Here are three things you may not have thought of.
If you’ve got a large number of assets, it can be difficult to keep them organized. The last thing you want after your pass is for your kids to have to learn about all the taxes they’ll have to pay to inherit your property. The right estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can help you figure out the actual value of your estate and any deductions you’ll be eligible for.
If you don’t see an estate planning lawyer to create your will, there may be issues that disrupt the process after you pass. Your children may decide to go to court over the transferral of the estate to ultimately decide who gets what. This process is not cheap, quick, or private. Not only can this reflect poorly on your memory as your loved ones try to grieve, but it can be actively harmful to those you leave behind. Some individuals forgo the will and try to designate their assets with other documents, like a Small Estate Affidavit, but these are often easily disputed and your children may go to court anyway.
Having a will written up doesn’t mean that nothing will change going forward. In fact, neglecting to update your will can cause even more problems down the road. An estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA can help you any time you gain a new asset or need to make another change. For example, some grandparents are suddenly tasked with raising their grandchildren, or they discover new health conditions that may require more treatment and money than they originally planned for. Updating your will can make sure it’s always ready to serve your family’s needs.
Your will is an important document that you can use to make sure your wishes are met, but lawyers at Klenek Law can also help you make sure certain scenarios don’t happen. When you trust the right lawyer, you can learn about and avoid many of the common issues with estate planning.
The reason most commonly associated with disinheritance is estrangement. Whatever the reason may be, if you do not have a relationship with your children, it makes sense to disinherit them. You want to leave your estate to the loved ones who are in your life.
Divorce is a common reason to write someone out of your will. Disinheriting a former spouse is of vital importance, especially if you get remarried. By law, both spouses would be entitled to a portion of your estate unless you explicitly disinherited your ex. This kind of snafu can result in your loved ones not receiving the full portion of the estate you intended for them. If you have recently divorced, make sure to prioritize speaking with an estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA to ensure your affairs are in order.
You may choose to disinherit a relative upon the agreement that you’ve loaned or gifted their inheritance to them already. For example, you may agree to help your child put a deposit on a house by using their portion of the inheritance to cover the cost.
Sometimes life happens, and your circumstances may change due to the impact of certain events. For example, a serious medical diagnosis in the family may impact your estate. Disinheriting some relatives may allow you to allocate more support to a relative who needs it. Klenk Law will help you rework your will to ensure your loved ones are taken care of.
As you can see, disinheritance happens more than you may think; but how do you disinherit someone?
Only adult children may be disinherited, minor children are protected by law. To disinherit an adult child you must submit the reason for disinheritance to your estate planning lawyer in King of Prussia, PA in writing. Omitting their name from the will is not enough to legally disinherit a child. Most courts will treat it as an error and award the child a portion of the estate.
Disinheriting a spouse is a little more complex. You must determine what they can be disinherited from, if you hold community property, alimony and other contributing factors. Klenk Law can help you determine what your spouse is entitled to, and how to proceed with disinheritance.
Parents are not usually entitled to your estate, but if you are single and have no kids, they could legally be next of kin. Explicitly disinheriting your parents in your will can prevent them from benefiting from your estate.
Why let someone else who is appointed by a court make these crucial decisions? A will allows you to make your loved ones aware of your final wishes and can ensure that they are followed according to your intentions. An estate planning lawyer King of Prussia, PA clients recommend from Klenk Law can help with the creation of your will as so that your last wishes are clear, calculated, and can be carried out to the letter. Plus, we’ll do our best to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals today.
Peter Klenk is the founding member of Klenk Law, a seven attorney boutique estate planning law firm. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota and Florida. Peter Klenk received his Masters in Taxation LL.M. from NYU Law School and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He served his country in the Navy JAGC during Desert Storm. Easy to talk to, feel free to call Peter for an appointment. We will make the process as easy as possible!
"I worked for Peter Klenk for 4 wonderful years. I can’t speak highly enough of everyone at the firm. Everyone truly cares about their clients and has a strong sense of responsibility to get things done right. I would highly recommend Klenk Law!"
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I have worked with Peter Klenk & his associates for some time now and I have found them to be ultra-qualified, knowledgeable and diligent about their work. I highly recommend them.
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.
Peter Klenk is an extraordinary attorney with positive guidance and knowledge for all of your Trust and Estate needs. We have used him for over 20 years.
I was referred to Peter after my divorce to put documents together to protect my assets. He suggested a number of documents that would help protect my children and their future. Also, he put together wills, power of attorney and living wills. I initially spoke with him on the phone, he took 30-40 minutes to understand my situation and explain the benefits of having such documents. After a week or two, I met with him in his office and signed the documents. Everything else was remote phone calls and emails. He re-explained these documents and what whom to share. I am in good hands.