Estate Planning Lawyers in Chester County, PA Helping Individuals Provide For Their Family’s Future Needs
When most individuals hear the words “estate planning,” they mistakenly think this legal service is only for the wealthy or elderly. Unfortunately, estate planning is one of the most underutilized legal tools available to help people provide for their families after passing away.
A well-crafted estate plan can give you and your family the peace of mind you need to be assured your final wishes will be fulfilled. For example, one of the biggest misconceptions people have been that if they die without a will, their family members will automatically receive all their assets. However, this is not always the case, and your heirs and beneficiaries may only be able to obtain their inheritance by going to court.
Peak Legal Group of Chester Co, PA, can help you create an estate plan tailor-made for your needs and relieve your family’s estate tax burden. Contact our law firm and ask to schedule a free consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your needs and explain your potential legal options.
What Are the Benefits of Estate Planning?
Estate planning can entail many different aspects depending on your legal needs. Common estate planning documents include:
- A will
- A trust
- Powers of attorney
- Advanced medical directives
- Beneficiary designations
However, everyone’s estate plans are different and based on their needs. For example, if you have children of minor age, you can establish who you want to take custody of in your will to avoid a costly court battle between other family members.
If you are older, you may be thinking about how you can protect your assets should you need specialized medical care or need to go to a nursing home. No matter what stage of life you are in, you can significantly benefit from working with a qualified estate planning lawyer to create a plan for the future.
Additionally, advanced directives can help your family members know they are making the right decisions regarding what type of medical care you do and do not want. Advanced directives also name a person of choice to act as your healthcare proxy if you are incapacitated.
What is the Difference Between a Will and Trust?
Most people are familiar with a last will and testament but may not know how trusts work. A will is a crucial aspect that should be included in estate planning. It allows individuals to name beneficiaries and assign an executor or administrator to distribute assets after their death. However, wills can still be subject to litigation if someone decides to dispute the terms of the will.
Having a will in place can help you put your final wishes in writing and designate how your property will be divided after you pass away. Nevertheless, even though a will provides a great deal of protection, creating a trust offers individuals asset protection and can help to minimize taxes. Some trusts can help to protect you in the case of bankruptcy or to prevent creditors from being able to obtain your assets.
Furthermore, some individuals create a trust to manage investments and disperse investments to beneficiaries after they pass away. Finally, a special needs trust is often created to help a family member who needs financial assistance that will not jeopardize essential government benefits.
However, one of the tremendous benefits of certain types of trusts is that when a person dies, families can avoid probate, pay estate taxes, and allow the distribution of necessary assets in a timely manner.
It should be stated that wills should be updated regularly. For example, your current will may still include your parents as beneficiaries even though they may no longer be alive. Additionally, if you have gone through a divorce, you must update your will, especially if your former spouse was a named executor. These issues could create legal problems for your other heirs upon your death and delay their ability to obtain the property you have left to them.
If you are still trying to determine which option is the best for you, contact Peak Legal Group of Chester County to schedule an estate planning consultation. A qualified legal team member will be happy to assist you with crafting a plan that fits your needs.
How Can an Estate Plan Protect Me As I Get Older?
It is important that individuals understand that elder law and estate planning are two separate areas of legal services. Elder law deals with legal issues that may occur while you are living. Conversely, estate planning deals with what occurs after you pass away.
Nevertheless, as you get older, you may have to consider the possibility that you will have to go to a nursing home or have someone who can make medical decisions on your behalf. If you do not have legal provisions in place, the state can stop in and appoint a guardian who will make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf. However, this individual does not know you and would be obligated to follow state laws regarding your care that may not align with your personal wishes. However, proper planning now can help you avoid state-appointed guardianship in the future.
No one ever wants to think they may end up in a nursing home, but circumstances arise where there may be no other choice. However, to qualify for Medicaid, there are strict rules regarding the amount and type of assets an individual may have at their disposal.
One of the most common concerns of individuals as they grow older is the worry that they may lose their homes in an attempt to offset medical costs. However, there are laws in place that can assist individuals in protecting their primary residence from what is known as Medicaid Estate Recovery.
The attorneys of Peak Legal Group have a broad, comprehensive understanding of how the Medicaid program works and can incorporate protections into your estate plan that can help safeguard your home and other assets. For more information about how to avoid Medicaid Estate Recovery contact our law firm to learn more.
Why Should I Choose Peak Legal Group to Help Me Create an Estate Plan?
The attorneys of Peak Legal Group realize that it can be challenging to make plans for the time after you pass away. In addition, the entire estate planning process can seem overwhelming, but with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can have peace of mind for the future.
An estate planning lawyer from Peak Legal Group can help you draft a will, appoint a trustee to oversee a trust, create an advanced directive, and provide many other legal services depending on your circumstances. However, probate court can be extremely costly, and the legal fees can quickly add up and create financial hardship for your heirs.
However, with a proper estate plan in place, you can feel content that when the time comes for the administration of your estate, no legal issues will arise that prevent your heirs from receiving their assets.
No matter what estate matter you may need help with, our law firm is dedicated to helping you and your family. We are proud of the service we have provided to the citizens of Chester County, PA. We would be honored to assist you with making decisions to ensure that your family will not suffer financially after you leave.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to create an estate plan or want more information, contact our law offices by calling 610-989-7064. A qualified legal team member will gladly sit down with you, answer your questions, and explain your legal options.