Your Estate Plan Benefits You And Your Loved Ones
When you think of an estate plan, you may imagine a last will and testament that names the people who will inherit your belongings. However, your estate plan can be so much more than that. Not only can it distribute your assets according to your wishes, but it can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that critical questions are answered if you are not able to speak for yourself.
If you are considering drafting an estate plan, the compassionate guidance of an attorney can ensure you meet your goals. John C. Lackatos, P.C., can help you create a plan that is appropriate for your situation. Your plan may include any of the following elements or more:
- A simple will
- Revocable living trust
- Special needs trust
- Asset protection trust
- Durable financial power of attorney
- Health care power of attorney
The powers of attorney, whether financial or health care, need to be prepared and executed prior to your decline in health.
You may also designate someone to be the personal representative, or executor, of your estate. While you may have chosen someone whom you feel is responsible to handle the job of administrating your estate, many executors find the assistance of a lawyer invaluable during the probate process.
When your loved one has passed without having written a will, their estate still needs to be administered. The first step is to determine who will be named as the personal representative since no executor has been named in a will. There are legal requirements which control the appointment of a personal representative. Many personal representatives find the assistance of an attorney a more efficient approach.
Heading To Probate
Probate can be a complex responsibility with many steps that can be overwhelming for someone without legal experience. We have successfully guided countless executors through the probate of loved ones, and we are eager to assist your family. Some of the steps involved in probate include the following:
- Paying any lingering debts
- Inventorying and valuating the assets
- Liquidating assets to cover outstanding debts
- Filing a final tax return
- Distributing assets
- Dealing with disputes among heirs and will contests
Will challenges can be complicated and costly. The law limits those who can challenge your will as well as the reasons for filing a will contest. Some of those reasons include:
- Accusations that someone had undue influence over you
- Concerns that you did not have mental capacity when you signed your will
- Forgery or fraud
- Mistakes in the execution of your will
It is our goal to minimize the chances that these challenges will occur by guiding you in creating a solid estate plan and assisting your executor through probate as efficiently and quickly as possible.
Don’t Wait Until It Is Too Late
Leaving your estate unprotected can be a burden to your family. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Franklin, Pennsylvania. Contact us by email, or call us at 814-346-7286 to schedule an appointment to discuss the estate plan that is best for you.