Estate Planning Attorney in New Bloomfield, PA
Everyone needs to plan for the future. It’s common for people to think estate planning is for the wealthy or primarily for homeowners. However, estate planning is a must for people with any type of assets and certainly for parents. This allows you to decide what should happen if you become incapacitated or when you pass away.
Attorney Timothy Czekaj can help you with estate planning for you and with estate administration after a loved one passes away. To set up a consultation, call Czekaj Law, LLC at (717) 285-9770.
Estate Planning in Perry County
The most essential element in estate planning is a valid will. However, your loved ones may benefit from a trust or more precise tax planning. Let attorney Timothy Czekaj help you plan.
Why Everyone Needs a Will
Every adult should have a will, especially if you have children or assets. A will allows your surviving relatives to go through an easier process after you pass away. It also dictates who receives your money, real property, and personal property. You decide what happens instead of the state. If you die without a valid will, Pennsylvania law dictates who receives your assets.
If you already have a will that you want to change or modify, call Czekaj Law, LLC. We can help you:
- Amend or add to your will with a codicil
- Revoke your current will and create a new one
It is smart to review your will every few years, particularly if you get married, divorced, or have children.
Are Trusts the Right Choice for You?
A trust is a legal vehicle that can be useful during or after your life. You place assets into a trust, which a trustee then manages to benefit one or more people called beneficiaries.
A common trust is a testamentary trust, which you plan along with your will. When you pass away, all or certain property transfers to the trust. Another type is a living trust, which you form during your life and continues after your death.
Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable during your life. Irrevocable trusts have tax benefits, but they are difficult to change or remove.
Trusts offer advantages and disadvantages. An estate planning attorney with our firm can help you decide which is the best option for you.
Understanding Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney give another person the right to act on your behalf when you can’t make decisions for yourself. In Pennsylvania, you can have a durable or springing POA. A durable POA is effective once you sign the document and lasts until you pass away, while a springing POA is effective when you become disabled or incapacitated.
POAs can give another person limited or general powers. For example, someone may be a POA for health care decisions only. It’s important to work with an attorney to craft an appropriate POA for your circumstances or future. Attorney Czekaj also makes sure your POA is valid under Pennsylvania law.
Living Wills & Advanced Directives Give You Control
In Pennsylvania, you can create a document describing what type of medical care you want to receive or not receive in the future. It’s a separate document from your will and can be helpful for your loved ones. In combination with a POA, a living will or advanced directive removes the pressure and guesswork on your children or loved ones to make important decisions on your behalf.
An advanced directive reflects your choice on healthcare decisions, including:
- Whether you want to receive life-saving treatment based on physical or cognitive checkpoints.
- Whether you want to enact a Do Not Resuscitate if you have a fatal illness or in hospice care.
Some hospitals and physicians require that you have an advanced directive before certain procedures.
Estate Administration & Probate in Perry County
If your loved one recently passed away in Perry County, it’s best to call an estate administration lawyer. A lawyer can handle the legal process on your behalf and guide you through what you need to do, which can dramatically reduce your stress.
If your loved one had a will, this helps the process go smoothly unless you or someone else wishes to contest the will. You need to register the will with the Register of Wills in the county where your loved one died. For Perry County, you’ll file the will with the Register of Wills located at the Perry County Courthouse in New Bloomfield, PA.
Our firm can help with:
- Tax returns
- Inheritance tax
- Notifying creditors
- Negotiating and paying debts
- Notifying beneficiaries or heirs
- Filing court documents
- Valuing and selling property
- Distributing remaining assets
Probate – Why You Need a Will
If your loved one passed away without a valid will in place, your family must go through the probate process. During this legal process, the court gives someone the power to take care of final matters, such as making an inventory and valuation of the estate, paying debts, and transferring assets to the legal heirs. The court also oversees the process.
If you intend to handle the administration of your loved one’s estate, it’s best to hire a Perry County probate lawyer who understands the court process, can draft the paperwork, and answer your questions. You’ll have to follow specific rules and procedures during the probate process.
Do You Want to Contest a Will?
If you believe the will isn’t an accurate reflection of your loved one’s desires, a Perry County estate administration lawyer can help you contest it. You may be able to file a contest or appeal with the Register of Wills in the county where your loved one lived.
Before you contest a will, you should know that:
- You cannot contest a will simply because you don’t like the terms or disagree with it.
- You must have evidence on specific grounds, such as someone using undue influence to change the will.
- Your loved ones may disagree with your decision to contest the will and have the option of taking their legal action.
An estate administration lawyer with Czekaj Law, LLC can explain the possible grounds for contesting a will, your legal options, and what might happen if you win or lose your case.
Contact a Perry County Estate Lawyer Today
Whether you’re planning or need to deal with the legal ramifications of a relative’s death, Czekaj Law, LLC is here to help. Attorney Czekaj can help you tackle estate planning, no matter how complex your situation. If you’re grieving a loss, he can guide you through the estate administration process.
Call (717) 285-9770 or use our online form to get started.