Pa Estate law comprises many areas of law. However, all of these areas of law focus on taking care of one’s person and property. Estate law is all of the laws that impact how a person makes decisions and issues directives about their personal affairs. A Pa Estate is anything that makes up a person’s net worth. Very simply, an estate is what a person has in their own name alone.
John provides a full range of services for Pa Last Wills: drafting, review, amendment, revocation, execution and probate. He provides reliable guidance for Pa Testators and Pa Executors.
His experience in the probate court, resolving issues related to the validity of wills, enables him to provide practical advice for testators from all walks of life. Similarly, his work in the formation of wills gives us keen insight into how executors should interpret various aspects of a will that may initially seem unclear.
Whether you are a testator formulating an estate plan or an executor implementing a decedent’s wishes, John B. Whalen, Jr. Esq. can simplify many complex aspects of the tasks before you.
He offers pertinent and personal legal advice to obtain the results you need in a timely manner with the least stress possible. Once executed, your will remains your final statement of your intentions until you amend or revoke it.
He recommends reviewing your will every three to five years and updating it to reflect your current wishes.
There are many factors that can affect the distribution of estate assets. In some cases, there may be a will that identifies you as a beneficiary; in other cases, there may not be a will at all. In still other cases, there may be a dispute involving the administration of the estate.
Pa Estate Administration is the process of settling a decedent’s affairs. When a loved one passes away, it can be an emotional time. In addition to grieving their passing, those that survive them must tie up all the legal and financial loose ends related to their life and estate. This includes addressing their will and following its instructions. The first step of the Pa Estate Administration requires the named executor to apply for Pa Probate. Pa Probate grants the Executor the legal right to be able to administer the Pa Estate. The Executor must then have the estate valued in order to determine if any tax is owed upon its proceeds. If any taxes are due, the amount owed must then be paid by the executor of the estate before any other monies are distributed to the departed person’s beneficiaries. The beneficiaries may eventually have to file Pa Inheritance tax returns as well.
An attorney who specializes in Pa Estate Planning can help you create a complete plan (including Pa Last Wills, Pa Powers of Attorney, and Pa Living Wills, etc.) to protect your spouse and children if you become unable to manage your financial affairs. Pa Estate Planning allows you to make decisions now so your wishes can be carried out if you die or become incapacitated.
When you execute a legal document called a Pa Power of Attorney, you are authorizing another individual (your Pa Agent) to make certain decisions on your behalf. The person who signs the document is called the principal and the person who is authorized to make decisions is known as the agent or attorney-in-fact.
Living wills are also referred to as an advance directive or a health care directive. It is a legal document that communicates your desire in the treatment of serious medical problems in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. They do not go into effect unless you are incapacitated and unable to express yourself. Having a living will can relieve your close relatives from the burden of having to make the decision about whether to remove you from life support.
Trusts are legal documents that allow you to control how your assets will be allocated or managed. You are considered the grantor and the person that manages and distributes assets in the trust is known as the trustee. Individuals who receive money or other assets are the beneficiaries.
Property placed in a trust, unlike wills, is not subject to probate. You can also create a revocable trust which can be canceled or revoked at any time while you are alive. Trusts can be set up for a child’s education or to reduce estate taxes.
A Will is an important document to execute in order to avoid disputes about how your assets will be divided when you die. The executor who administers the distribution of assets from your estate will allocate your possessions as you specified. You should periodically review your Will to make sure it is still relevant and accurate. Life changing events, such as the birth of a child or a marriage, may require amendments to the original document.
Most estates, especially when there is a proper will in place, are easily settled. Yet there are times when other factors complicate the issue, creating a situation that requires more careful consideration. For example, a family business, an estate that is in bankruptcy or an estate that holds significant amounts of real estate may become complicated quite quickly. This is where estate litigation comes into play.
When an individual acts in a fiduciary capacity such as an executor of a will or a trustee of the financial assets of another person or entity, they have the responsibility of keeping accurate financial records. Those records should show how money was spent, invested or distributed while under the fiduciary’s care and control. Proper accounting can bring to light the mismanagement or bad investment of funds should an issue arise with an interested party.
The Pa Guardianship process can be filled with emotions. Realizing that a loved one is no longer capable of caring for his or her self can be difficult to accept. That’s why you need an attorney who offers legal services with compassion. For the past twenty-five (25) years, Attorney Whalen has built a reputation for providing compassionate legal care for his clients, putting their needs and interests first while navigating emotionally trying circumstances.
The Pa Probate process, itself, is a very simple process. However, it is merely the beginning of the Pa Estate Administration (also known as the Pa Estate Settlement) process, which involves settling a decedent’s affairs, and can (and does) involve many, many other steps, depending on many, many other things.
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