People who are planning their estate may experience a mixture of feelings. It can be difficult to imagine how things will be when you are no longer with your family and friends. However, mortality is part of being human, and we must prepare for our passing to the best of our ability. Not writing a will or forming a revocable trust increases the danger of your assets being divided up by the court using intestacy laws. If you want your last wishes respected, then consider meeting with a will lawyer in Allentown, PA from Klenk Law.
Here in this article we have answered several questions that people often have when writing their will. We are available to help you with your will as well as any other estate planning tools that may suit you. Contact us for a free consultation with our will lawyer in Allentown, PA to learn more, including ways to save on estate taxes.
Many people choose to work with a will lawyer in Allentown, PA for feedback and guidance. Those who have never written a will can genuinely benefit from the advice of a legal professional. Also, you may discover that there are additional choices for estate planning that you may not be aware of, such as trusts. It’s essential to have a full understanding of your options.
An essential factor to consider when writing a will is if you are in a committed relationship with someone who is not your legally recognized spouse or partner. It could be a disaster for your loved one if you die without a will stating what they are to receive. Without a will or a legally recognized marriage, your property your blood relatives instead of your partner acquire your assets. This can even include the house they are living in and had lived in with you while you were still alive. To prevent this from happening, you should consider contacting a will lawyer in Allentown, PA from Klenk Law. Our legal team can guide you through the process. Let’s make sure your your plan reflects your wishes.
To truly protect your partner after your death, an efficient way is to create a will. The lawyers at Klenk Law have over 25 years of experience in creating wills. Call Klenk Law at 484-224-3051 to help protect your loved one with the help of a will lawyer Allentown, PA offers.
State and/or federal taxes exist. These taxes hinge on to whom you leave your assets and your estate’s value. There are other rules as well. If you work with a will lawyer Allentown, PA from our firm, any tax obligations that will be assessed after your passing will be identified. Further, there are options for structuring your estate plan in such a way as to eliminate any taxes that will be owed. After a careful review of your assets and other important variables, your Klenk Law will lawyer Allentown, PA will explain everything you need to know. In addition, we can address all your planning and probate concerns.
When you’re doing your estate planning, much of the work will go into creating your last will and testament. Your will needs to be specific and detailed to ensure your final wishes are carried out to the letter. Here are some important things your will lawyer in Allentown, PA, could suggest to include in your will.
Your will must include your name, date of birth, and address to avoid having it confused with someone else’s will who has the same name as you. It also has to include certain phrases to identify it as a will. One such phrase is, “This is my last will and testament.” You need to name an executor of your estate, someone who will oversee your estate and ensure your final wishes are adhered to. Your will must also include your signature and, most likely, signatures of witnesses or a notary public.
From your stock portfolio to great-aunt Mabel’s fine china, from your bank accounts to your salt and pepper shaker collection, everything you own should be listed in your will so you can specify what you want to happen to your belongings when you’ve passed away. Include all your financial documentation, including checking and savings account numbers, trusts, CDs, stock brokerage accounts, annuities and mortgage papers. Your Klenek Law will lawyer in Allentown, PA may be able to help you make a list of assets.
Once you’ve listed your assets, you need to list where you want those assets to go. Your beneficiaries can include relatives, friends, charities, businesses and trusts. A will lawyer in Allentown, PA, from Klenek Law can help you determine who can and can’t be a beneficiary of your estate after you’ve died. Keep in mind, a will can’t distribute your life insurance proceeds, property held in a living trust or any assets that have a joint title. Life insurance and living trusts have their own beneficiaries, and assets in joint title pass to the other party on death.
If you have minor children, it’s crucial that you have a will specifying their guardianship in the event of your death. If your will doesn’t spell out who you want taking care of your kids, they could become wards of the state and go into the foster care system. Choose your children’s guardian carefully; you want your children raised the way you would raise them if you were still living. You might want to list two or three potential guardians in case something happens and your first choice of guardian isn’t available for some unforeseeable reason.
When writing a will, there are many factors to consider and details to address. Your will lawyer in Allentown, PA can guide you through the process to ensure you don’t miss anything.
A last will and testament is the most common type of document in an estate plan, but there are many different instruments to choose from. A trust could be a better option if you have a lot of assets to bequeath and would like to minimize taxes that beneficiaries will pay.
An executor is a person who carries through with the wishes outlined in the will. This person should be reliable, organized, and able to carry out a difficult series of tasks while also grieving. For this reason, it may not be best to name a partner or a child as will executor, and it may instead be wise to appoint a will lawyer in Allentown, PA to execute your will. In either case, the executor should know their role before the time comes so they are prepared to accept or decline the responsibility.
You can list almost anything you own on a will with few exceptions (including illegal drugs). You may bequeath clothing, electronics, real estate, life insurance policies, and savings accounts, for example. Other considerations include your diary or unfinished novels and whether they should be published or destroyed by a trusted person. Discuss your options with Klenek Law to figure out what to do with your most treasured items.
According to the law, animal friends are considered property. Be sure to delineate who receives and cares for your animal. If you do not have a trusted friend or relative, find an animal santuary and make arrangements with them. If you do not list somebody, your animal will likely go to the local animal shelter, an nobody wants that. Klenek Law can help your whole animal family figure out the best plan.
Anyone who receives something through your will needs to be specifically named in the document. Beneficiaries can include family, friends, neighbors, charities, businesses, or anyone else. If you like, include local charities when it comes to things your family doesn’t want, such as household items. Your will lawyer in Allentown, PA can help you ensure you include everybody you love or would like to help out.
Coming to terms with your mortality can be daunting, planning for it even more so. Nobody likes thinking about their death, but not having a will ready when you pass can be devastating for your loved ones in the aftermath. Due to this discomfort, people do not often discuss the process of writing a will which can lead to several misconceptions about wills. Here are a few common myths about wills and why they’re misleading:
If you die without a written will in place, your spouse is indeed entitled to your estate by law. However, due to the way each state writes its interstate succession laws, they may not be entitled to everything you’d want them to have. For example, in Pennsylvania, your parents are entitled to a part of your estate under intestate succession laws, so when you pass your spouse would split the estate with them.
Furthermore, not all assets can be passed through intestate succession. Some examples of assets that are non-transferable under Pennsylvania interstate succession laws include funds in a 401 K or other retirement accounts, life insurance proceeds and any property in a living trust. To ensure that all of your assets are bequeathed to the correct person after death, schedule an appointment with a will lawyer in Allentown, PA.
Oftentimes young people make the mistake of believing they don’t need a will because of their age or relationship status. However, having a will is a smart move no matter what age you are because nobody can predict when they are going to die. Accidents may happen at any time. In fact, the peak age for accidental poisoning deaths, the number one cause of accidental deaths in the United States, is 35.
Another common misconception about writing a will is that you don’t need one if you’re single. This is false for two reasons: first, even if there’s truly nobody you want to leave your estate to upon passing you may want to block someone’s claim to it via interstate succession. Secondly, consider who will care for your beloved pet when you’re gone. Having a written will allows you to leave a detailed plan stipulating exactly what should happen to your furry friend once you’ve passed.
Thinking about your death is never pleasant, but planning for it is vital to everyone. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re exempt because of age, relationship status or any other reason. Writing a will is a necessary process for everyone because nobody lives forever.
Learn more about the importance of planning one’s estate by talking with our Allentown, PA will lawyer during a free and confidential consultation—call Klenk Law today to make an appointment.
Ask any will lawyer Allentown, PA has to offer, and you’ll likely hear that a will is the most basic of all estate planning documents. It can detail what you would like to be done with your assets upon your death and describe who you would want to care for any minor children or adults with special needs. It is only valid when you sign it and have it witnessed with certain formalities in mind. In general, you should always have a lawyer review your will. This is because even one wrong or misused word could impact your overall wishes. If you would like to learn more about a will, please call Klenk Law to speak with a will lawyer in Allentown, PA for free.
Most states do not require a will to be notarized, but this can help and might simplify the court procedures. You also do not have to file a will with a government office or entity; however, some states offer this option to residents. It is essential that your will is kept in a safe place. You should ensure the executor of the will knows where to access it.
You might not need a will lawyer Allentown; PA can provide to write a will that leaves small investments, a single-family home, or personal items to family members or friends. However, if significant assets are a factor, or your situation is beyond one that is standard to an individual, you’ll likely want to consult a will lawyer Allentown, PA can trust.
Can I make a handwritten will if I don’t have any significant assets?
A handwritten and unwitnessed will, also known a holographic will, is legal in approximately 25 states. For a holographic will to be valid, it needs to be written and signed in your handwriting (or the handwriting of whoever is making the will). Depending on the state, this document might also need to be dated to be valid. Some states will also accept DIY/fill-in-the-blank style forms, as long as your handwriting is on it and it is signed and dated.
In general, a holographic will is better than no will, providing that it is valid in your state. A will that is signed in front of a legal witness is better. If your handwritten will is contested or reviewed in a probate court, the judge will likely meticulously examine it to ensure it is legitimate. Furthermore, if your will contradicts other things you have said, is contrary to what you initially intended, or is ambiguous, your final wishes might not be carried out as you wish. When this happens, your beneficiaries might have to hire an Allentown will lawyer for assistance.
Contact a Will Lawyer Allentown, PA Families Depend On
To learn more about the distribution of the aforementioned assets, wills, or other viable solutions for estate planning, please call Klenk Law today. Guided by more than 25 years of experience and a passion for our profession, we have successfully created legally binding wills, trusts, and estate plans for many clients and their loved ones. For a consultation with a will lawyer Allentown, PA families trust, please call 215-790-1095.
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!"
Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.
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.
Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.
When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...
Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.