Some people think estate planning is only for families of extraordinary wealth, the so-called “one percent.” The truth is that people from all walks of life can benefit from estate planning, and having their plan created by an attorney who focuses on this specialized area of the law.
Probate is a court-supervised proceeding in which a last will and testament is authenticated (if there is a will) and an executor is named to distribute the decedent’s assets. While probate in Pennsylvania is not as onerous as some would have you believe, losing a loved one is difficult enough without the added stress of having to make important legal and financial decisions while grieving. For many families, the probate process can seem overwhelming.
When a person passes away, his or her estate must be administered, regardless of whether there is a valid last will and testament. Administration of an estate for which the decedent created a valid will results in a grant of letters testamentary, whereas if the decedent had no will, the process results in a grant of letters of administration.
Elder Law encompasses several practice areas, including asset protection, Medicaid planning, and estate planning. We have extensive experience in each of these areas and focus on helping elders and the people who love them cope with the changes that accompany growing older. In particular, we help families protect their life savings from the high cost of long-term care.
Special needs trusts are often used to create a fund to provide goods and services not available through government assistance programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while simultaneously maintaining eligibility for these critical programs.
As an elder law and estate planning firm, protecting client assets is one of our primary areas of focus. We help individuals and families from all walks of life protect their hard-earned assets from a wide range of threats, including long-term care costs, divorce and remarriage, creditors, lawsuits, predators, estate and inheritance taxes, and more. To accomplish this, we frequently design and implement customized trusts.