Wills, trusts, family limited partnerships, intervivos trusts, testamentary trusts, executors, trustees, guardians, probate, estate administration, incapacitated persons, Orphans Court claims and litigation, will contests, powers of attorney, living wills, advance health care directives, asset protection
No one likes to think about dying. However, for the sake of your family and loved ones, executing a will and/or trusts is critical to accomplish your intended distribution of your estate assets. In addition, it is vitally important to name an appropriate guardian for your minor children and to establish trusts so that your children and possibly other family members (and pets) are properly taken care of after your passing. We have extensive experience in preparing wills and trusts to accomplish these purposes. By doing appropriate estate planning, you can also help to avoid paying certain death taxes unnecessarily. Additionally, you should have a power of attorney which includes living will provisions (also known as an advanced health-care directive) which can be used by your family in the event that you are incapacitated. After the passing of one of your loved ones, we can promptly, effectively and economically handle the administration of that person’s estate and guide you through the process to avoid unnecessary estate administration expenses and family disputes. We can help you to form family limited partnerships which can be used to avoid the time and expense of probating an estate. We can help you to establish an inter vivos trust, which is a trust created during your lifetime to help pay for your living expenses and to pass your assets to your heirs without necessarily having to go through a time consuming and expensive probate of your estate. One of the other potential advantages of establishing a trust is for asset protection. We represent executors, trustees, and guardians. In some cases, we act as the trustee in order to efficiently, effectively and fairly distribute income and/or other assets to your children or other beneficiaries after your passing. This is often a far more personal and cost-effective alternative than using a large, institutional trust company or bank. We have been involved in several significant civil actions whereby beneficiaries of a trust are obliged to sue the impersonal, institutional trust company or bank to gain access to their trust income and/or assets.
We have also handled numerous Orphans Court actions and claims and have successfully litigated will contests. We have drafted literally hundreds of powers of attorney for use in real estate transactions, special purpose transactions and generally to allow a child or some other relative or trusted friend to help a parent handle their financial affairs. As part of a general power of attorney, we normally recommend that an advance health-care directive (living will) be included to give peace of mind and to accomplish the wishes of the person giving the power of attorney if they are incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions concerning their health-care.
All of the foregoing matters are extremely important and personal and it is therefore critical to have an attorney who understands the issues, is compassionate, has some business sense and who has significant experience in these matters help you to draft the appropriate documents to accomplish your goals.