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Estate Lawyer Allentown, PAEstate Planning Lawyer Philadelphia, PA

An estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can assist you with your estate planning needs. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the thought of the probate process. We can help. The anxiety and stress come at a cost and we can reduce that cost. Talk to an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Klenk Law about probate, planning or even about irrevocable trusts. 

On the other hand, an estate dispute might have arisen. Not only are you worried about probate, but now you think that you need estate litigation guidance. We can help. Unlike most firms that focus on one area of estate planning, we have departments that address probate, planning, and estate litigation. Realistically, if you believe an argument or dispute is underway, call us. Furthermore, if you think the estate is vulnerable to something devastating, call a Pennsylvania estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia as soon as possible.  

Our Pennsylvania estate planning lawyers have extensive experience in estate-related matters. Our expertise includes estate planning, probate, will contests, and litigation. If you need an estate planning lawyer, please call Klenk Law promptly. 

Understanding Estate Litigation

Estate litigation can include any number of issues; however, most situations involve at least one of the following:

  • Probate litigation
  • Will contest
  • A long lost family member disputing the estate
  • Trust dispute
  • Negligence or breach of duty
  • Failure to disclose property or assets
  • Fraud
  • Undue influence

For more information, see my article, “Will Contests Explained For Non-Lawyer.”

At Klenk Law, our estate planning lawyers in Philadelphia understand complex family dynamics. We understand disputes evolving from a family death can lead to permanent familial rifts. Family fall outs are all too frequently because there was no estate plan. Or, worse, a poorly planned estate. We work hard to navigate these situations while being mindful of every person’s emotions, as well as our client’s interests. 

It is our goal to resolve the problem amicably and before family members cease their relationship with one another. Permanent family rifts are not what we want to see, and so we will try to offer creative solutions through negotiations, mediation, and family talks. That said, sometimes, these proactive resolution attempts are unsuccessful. If this should happen, the estate litigation matter moves into court. Here, we will act as your legal advocate and represent your needs. It will come down to the decision of a judge on what will happen with the estate.  We will prepare your case, so your voice is heard.

What You Should Do In the Event of an Estate Dispute

Whether you are a named beneficiary, heir, executor, or a trustee, you have the right to bring forth your issue to a Philadelphia, PA estate planning lawyer. Before you do so, or while you wait for your lawyer’s recommendation, you should not:

  • Take any action that seems vengeful
  • Do anything that may be considered violent
  • Hide assets, including property and money
  • Destroy documents
  • Forge documents
  • Do anything without talking with a skilled estate litigation lawyer

Estate litigation is a serious issue that can be costly and time-consuming. Talk to our legal team if you are involved in a dispute regarding a trust, will, guardianship, power of attorney, or any other estate planning document. For a consultation, please call an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA at Klenk Law immediately.

Why You Need to Update Your Estate Plan After Divorce

You did it! Your divorce is finally over with, finalized, and filed away. You are probably a lot less stressed than you were last week. Before you let that feeling of having nothing to worry about flee your mind, you should consider updating your estate plan quickly. After you become a single individual, updating your healthcare power of attorney, will, financial power of attorney, and your trust documents to reflect your new status is essential. 

Imagine if you passed away after your divorce and all of your estate and money fell into the hands of your ex-spouse because you forgot to change your estate plan. Although some courts in certain states will require you to list your ex-spouse in some estate planning documents, like with joint accounts, most courts will allow you to change most everything else. You definitely do not want a devious and mean ex that is seeking revenge to have the power to pull the plug lest you become incapacitated. Change that healthcare power of attorney before your downfall. Contact an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA. This will help you have a clearer picture of what to revise and what to leave be. 

Steps to Take Because of Divorce

You can even discuss the possibility of remarriage and how it will affect your new estate plan. Your Philadelphia, PA estate planning lawyer can help you review your life insurance policies, any financial investments, or independently owned assets that you have, and pick out who you want to pass your things onto when you die. 

The first thing you should change, with the help of a Philadelphia, PA estate planning lawyer, is your will. Your estate planning lawyer may likely recommend revoking your prior will that named your ex and create a new one. If you have any children, you may want to name them as your healthcare power of attorney or financial power of attorney, unless they are minors. 

If you currently possess a revocable living trust, you must remember to update the documents. Your ex-spouse may be a beneficiary or a fiduciary.  It’s time for changes and replacements. Further, if your trust is not revocable, address changes before you finalize your divorce.

Everyone works hard for their finances. You do not want to see your hard work go to waste in the event you cannot take care of your money, and your ex gets the power to make gifts. Remember to change and update your estate plan to reflect your new marital status and mindset. Do not delay, because something could happen to you at any moment. 

The Basic Components of Estate Planning

As you’ve gotten older, there are specific benchmarks that you have gleefully reached. Graduating from college, getting your first degree-related job and getting married were all happy times to celebrate. The older you get, the more you have to look forward to, including becoming a parent for the first time in the months to come.

Another part of reaching these life milestones is dealing with a future that may be uncertain. What will happen to your growing family if you get injured, sick or die suddenly? While estate planning is not considered a life event to celebrate, it is a necessary step in taking care of your affairs. Learn what the two essential components of estate planning include, so you are ready to get the process going.

Drafting a Will

The most basic element of an estate plan is a will. This document sets forth what happens to personal property and assets after your death. If you die without a will, your family may have to go through a lengthy court process to secure the rights to that property. Before drafting a will, you need to think about who you want to appoint to administer it. This would be someone who will be able to handle the probate process, if applicable in your state. The administrator is responsible for getting an accounting of the property, reporting it to the court and then using what is necessary to pay off your debts. Whatever is left is divided in the way you outlined in the document. If you are married, your spouse typically assumes the estate unless the will does not get administered until they die.

3 Good Reasons To Speak With an Estate Planning Attorney Soon

Though death is usually a difficult experience, leaving your family with a sound blueprint of finances, business arrangements, real estate and mortgage information can save a lot of heartache and confusion. As well, some people find themselves an unwitting party in an estate process when a family member dies. Estate planning attorneys like the ones at Klenek Law can help by offering their experience and knowledge of state legal processes when assisting clients who are receiving property from a will, or believe they should be. Here are a few good reasons to speak with an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, before it’s too late.

1. Getting a Will Prepared

People getting on in years or diagnosed with terminal illnesses must be prepared for eventually leaving the Earth. Leaving some things behind to loved ones is a privilege and a blessing not everyone can afford to do. If living life with control and responsibility was an objective during life, then leaving a specific and updated will gives control and responsibility in death. Hiring an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, to help draft a will and assume the duties of distributing the will upon death is an important step. Some estates are more cumbersome than others, and an attorney like one from Klenek Law may be able to coordinate with other estate administrators like accountants and other attorneys when deciding on matters of the estate.

2. Getting a Fair Share From a Deceased Relative

It happens every day. A father, an uncle, a cousin or someone else very close and very wealthy dies. There is no will. Everyone and their grandmother has an excuse as to why they should receive money or property from the remaining estate left behind. This type of thing should be left to an experienced estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA. An attorney can help fight your case, and you’ll learn who is legally in line to become beneficiary, heir, executor and trustee. An attorney can determine the new ownership of money and property and explain it to the client.

3. Getting a Dispute of Trust Heard  

People who receive a trust might come to the determination that they are not receiving a fair or legal portion of a trust, or the trust might not be interpreted correctly. Hiring an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, can be a great way to get a second opinion and review the terms of the trust. If something can be adjusted, an attorney can get a judge to order a hearing and possibly get the terms of the trust corrected.

 5 Components of a Good Estate Plan

Whether you have reached a milestone in life, such as the birth of a child, or are going through a change like a divorce, there is more to estate planning than just writing your will. Klenek Law, an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, can help you to devise a solid plan for managing your assets. Here are five things to consider to ensure that your loved ones will remain secure if something should happen to you.

1. Will

A will is written documentation of your wishes regarding the disbursement of your estate after you die. It can also be used to name a guardian for minor children and instructions for your funeral. A will is subject to probate, meaning a court administrator will examine its legitimacy, and it can be contested by family members.

2. Trusts

A trust also designates how your assets are to be distributed, but it is active from the day it is established, does not go through probate and cannot be contested. There are many kinds of trusts, and an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, can help you choose the type that best suits your needs.

3. Power of Attorney

One of the most important details to think about is power of attorney. A power of attorney allows you to choose a person to manage your finances should you become incapacitated. Keep in mind that if you are single and do not have a power of attorney, the court may assign someone that you would not consider to be the ideal choice.

4. Health Care Directives

There are also vital arrangements to be made about your health care directives, including a living will and a health care proxy. The former provides detailed instructions regarding your medical care, such as whether you would like to remain on life support, and the latter names the person who is to handle your medical decisions while you are incapacitated.

5. Beneficiary Designations

If you have insurance policies or retirement accounts, you will want to stipulate who is to receive benefits from them when you pass. This is usually done when you open the account and is something that should be reviewed regularly.

No one likes to think about what will happen when they die, but having a good estate plan in place will take the stress off of your family in the future. Talking with someone from Klenek Law, an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, can leave you with peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of when you are gone.

How Can Estate Planning Help Me?

Estate Planning Protects Your Beneficiaries

If you have assets, such as real estate, that you want to pass on to your children or other beneficiaries after you die, estate planning helps ensure that those assets are distributed the way you want. Otherwise, the laws of your state determine who gets what and disputes may arise between surviving family members. An estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can help you make sure that your assets are distributed how you want after you die.

Estate Planning Can Reduce Your Estate Taxes

Some property transfers are subject to taxation. Certain estate planning tools can reduce the amount of taxes your heirs will have to pay on the property they receive. Additionally, an estate plan may reduce the amount that the assets you pass on affect your beneficiaries’ income tax. An estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can help you determine options that may reduce the tax burden of your estate.

Estate Planning Protects Your Children

If you die while your children are still young, your estate plan helps ensure your children are cared for. Part of the estate planning process is naming who the guardians of your children will be if both parents die while they are still minors. An attorney at Klenk Law can help you make sure your children will be taken care of if you die.

Estate Planning Helps Avoid Family Disputes

You may not think that your family will fight over your assets when you die, but it happens more often than most people would like. Disputes over who gets which assets can turn ugly and result in lawsuits. Estate planning helps avoid this possibility by specifically stating what happens to your assets after you die or if you become mentally incapacitated. It also allows you to consider situations, such as a child with health issues or an heir who is not financially responsible, that the courts may not take into account. An estate planning attorney at Klenk Law can help you avoid potential conflicts between family members after your death by creating a thorough estate plan that is up to date and difficult to challenge in court.

Estate Planning Protects You

Estate plans are not just for what happens after you die. You can also make plans for what happens if you become incapacitated, such as who will make your health care decisions and manage your finances. You may want to discuss these issues with your family while you are healthy.

Choosing People To Make Important Decisions

There may be times when you are temporarily sidelined due to medical complications or an accident. In some instances, this may turn into a long-term illness and inability to properly care for yourself. In these instances, you may want to include a few power of attorney documents in your estate plan. A power of attorney designates an individual to make decisions on your behalf regarding medical care. It is invoked when you are unable to make these choices yourself. This should be a person who you know will adhere to your wishes in this respect and make the choices you would expect, even if they are difficult.

Along with a medical power of attorney, you should also prepare a financial power of attorney document. The person you appoint in this document will be able to step in and handle your financial affairs in the event you cannot. Again, this should be someone who you trust to deal with your finances responsibly.

An estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA from Klenk Law can further educate you on what you should include in these crucial documents.

For assistance in updating your estate plan, contact an estate planning lawyer Philadelphia, PA clients recommend from Klenk Law today.

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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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Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

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