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Answers from a Will Lawyer Allentown, PA Offers

Common Questions When Creating an Estate Plan

Will Lawyer Allentown, PAPeople 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.

Common Misconceptions About Wills and Why You Need One

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:

Myth: Your Spouse Will Receive Everything When You Pass

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.

Myth: I don’t Need a will Because…

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.

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.

What Our clients are saying

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Klenk Law is an exceptional practice. Their fine lawyers and staff team up to produce excellent results for their clients. They excel at explaining the often cryptic laws and policies that govern estate planning right down to the complexities of the various "trust" frameworks. Peter himself manages each client together with his great team, and he has a rare quality to be both a walking encyclopedia of planning minutia and also one of the most likable lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He is truly generous in intellect and in his personal approach to getting the "big picture" for complex family structures. I trust him implicitly to help me make the right choices for the future. In short, Klenk Law is a gem of a firm.

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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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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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Linda F.

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

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Chantee C.

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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