Answers from a Will Lawyer Allentown, PA Offers
Common Questions When Creating an Estate Plan
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.
What are the steps I should take when writing my will?
The idea of planning one’s estate might be daunting and overwhelming at first. If you focus on accomplishing one step at a time, it can seem less distressing than you originally believed. Keep in mind that our will lawyer in Allentown, PA can guide you through each step.
- For starters, you may want to make a list of all of those friends and family members who are closest to you. Think of the people who you want to have a piece of your legacy in the event of your passing. These could be relatives, close friends, mentors, or even non-profit organizations.
- Secondly, compile a list of your assets, belongings, sentimental treasures, etc. Include anything that belongs to you that you want to pass on to another person. Then, you can specify which of your assets should be distributed to each loved one.
What if there are family members that I want to exclude from my will?
You are not required to include all of your family members in your will. Exclusion is one of the reasons for writing a will. If you do not plan your estate with a will or trust, the probate court might distribute your assets to family members you would otherwise not include. For added assurance, your will lawyer in Allentown, PA from Klenk Law can add wordage that excludes those persons explicitly, with or without an explanation from you in the will.
Should I meet with an attorney for a final review of my estate plan?
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.
Wills and Unmarried Couples
Creating a will is an important task to complete and a will lawyer Allentown, PA community members rely on can make the process easier. It is often difficult to think of creating a will because it forces you to think about a time when you won’t be alive. However, if you do not create a will, your wishes may not be considered. The will can affect who receives your property, who will take care of your minor children, and your final resting place.
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.
Common Law Marriage
There is an urban myth that regardless of where you live in the US if you live with your partner for seven years you’re automatically legally married. This is not the case. Only 15 states and Washington, D.C. view common law marriage as valid, but they have strict guidelines. Pennsylvania no longer recognizes common law marriage. A will lawyer Allentown, PA residents turn to from our firm can clarify how the law applies in your circumstances, but it could mean proving that many years ago before the rules changed you:
- Used the same last name
- Referred to one another as spouses
- Filed joint income tax returns
Living Together Contract
Most states recognize a living together contract. This contract is a written agreement between both parties in the unmarried couple that states possession of the property and other belongings. It can help ensure that property is left to the living party according to whatever decision the couple makes. A living together contract does not replace a will but might help avoid probate. Talk to a will lawyer Allentown; PA couples trust from our legal team to discover if this solution will meet your needs.
Protect Your Partner’s Rights
If you are in a committed relationship but you are not married, you will want to take action to protect your partner after your death. Otherwise, a blood relative may be able to prevent your partner from inheriting your property. You should consider taking these steps with the help of a will lawyer Allentown, PA locals recommend:
- Create a will that states your partner is to receive whatever you would like them to inherit.
- Name your partner as the beneficiary of your life insurance policies.
- Establish a trust currently that transfers your property for your partner’s care while incurring minimal taxes.
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.
What if I die without a will?
It can be difficult to think about contacting a will lawyer Allentown, PA to create a will because the thought of dying may be scary. And yet, not having a will can make it even more difficult for your loved ones after your passing. They will be left with questions and perhaps varying opinions as to your final wishes. In addition to their grief, they may experience anger and betrayal with each other, leading to in-fighting. As our will lawyer Allentown, PA will tell you, this occurs often, even in families that are close-knit. When death and money can easily fray the best relationships. Having a will in place that clearly identifies who will inherit which of your personal belongings and assets, and the reasoning behind your decisions can prevent a tremendous amount of added heartache.
What is probate?
Another reason to plan one’s estate is to reduce the risk of your estate having to go through the probate process. Probate is a legal process that involves the court system to establish who should inherit which of the decedent’s assets and who should be the guardian of the minor children if there are any. If the person left behind a will, probate can be partially or wholly avoided. If you work with an estate planning lawyer to draw up a will and or trust, very likely your heirs will not have to suffer through probate at all. There are several estate planning tools available that ensure your final wishes are legally recognized. Allow Klenk Law to help you. Call us today and make an appointment with our will lawyer Allentown, PA who can make this process as easy as possible.
What are estate taxes?
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.
If I don’t have substantial assets, do I still need to write a will?
Though technically nobody is required to write a will, estate planning can be beneficial for most people, even those who do not own substantial assets. When our Allentown, PA will lawyer sits down with you and reviews your circumstances, if any of the following is true for you then a will and/or trust can address these issues after your passing:
- You have one or more minor children and you want to specify who should be their legal guardian.
- One or more assets or sentimental items should pass them on to certain people.
- You wish to have your final remains interred in a specific way and/or location.
- Avoiding probate is one of your goals.
- You do not want your loved ones to have any confusion or heartache about who you would want to inherit particular possessions or assets.
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.