Beaver County Wills and Estates
Every adult (over the age of 18 years) should have a Will. Do not leave the disposition of your Estate on your death to chance. The primary goal in planning your Will is to accomplish your family purposes, at the least amount of cost and tax to your family. This may include establishing Trusts and Life Estates for certain assets. We can help you plan your Will and accomplish these goals in one of our Estate Planning Conferences.
It is particularly important for parents of minor children to have a Will. Your Will allows you to secure your children’s financial future and also decide who will have custody of your children in the event of your death, rather than have the Court decide this after a lengthy legal battle.
If you are a parent in a blended family, this presents unique planning issues. We find it beneficial to our clients, in these circumstances, to come in for a brainstorming session to plan your Wills. This is a complicated area of the law and we can help you work through these difficult decisions.
Wills are usually inexpensive. We will discuss the cost with you at our initial office conference. The best way to get started is to call our office and schedule an appointment with one of our Estate Planning Lawyers.
Powers of attorney
There may be some time where you need help with financial matters or medical decisions. We recommend to all our clients that, at some point in their life, they consider appointing someone as a Power of Attorney. If a person becomes incapacitated (or incompetent) and has not appointed anyone as their Power of Attorney, the only recourse the family has is to go to Court and have you declared incompetent and have a Legal Guardianship established for you. This is a difficult and costly matter for a family to have to undertake. Appointing a Power of Attorney is a serious undertaking. We strongly encourage our clients to seek legal counsel about appointing someone as their Power of Attorney. We also strongly advise against signing any Power of Attorney that is not prepared by a lawyer and signed in his office after receiving a thorough explanation of the nature of the Power of Attorney. We normally discuss this area with our clients at a Will Conference and charge a single fee for both. We encourage our clients, whether you have a Will or not, to discuss the possibility of appointing someone as your Power of Attorney.
If a family member has become incapacitated (incompetent) and does not have a Power of Attorney, someone will probably have to be appointed by the Court as that person’s legal guardian. This is a highly regulated area of the law and you will need the help and counsel of a lawyer if this happens in your family. If this unfortunate event does befall your family, call us immediately so that we can help you analyze your options and understand what you need to do in the best interest of your incapacitated family member.
A Living Will is a written directive that provides that:
1. If you are diagnosed by your doctor as being in a permanent coma or terminal condition; and
2. If you are incapacitated; and
3. If your life can only be prolonged through life support treatment, then you do not want life support treatment used to prolong your life
A printable version of Pennsylvania’s standard Living Will is available for your use on our website by clicking here.
The Estate Administration is a process that should be done carefully, thoughtfully, and in a dignified manner with the primary goal of giving effect to the testator’s intentions.
If you have been appointed as the Executor of an Estate, you need to understand that you are a fiduciary and you have a fiduciary duty to administer the Estate in a reasonable and prudent manner and in the best interest of the Heirs.
Whether we have prepared your family’s Will or not, we can assist you with Estate Administration and performing your legal fiduciary duty. We encourage you to call us when a loved one has passed away as there are very important initial duties for the Executor to perform. We will discuss legal fees with you at the initial office conference.
Let our firm guide you through estate law
Attending to your plans for the end of your life allows you to live it more fully. And minding the estate of a loved one is a rewarding challenge which requires experienced legal support.