Bethlehem, PA Will And Trust Lawyer
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Wills And Trusts Offer Many Benefits For Many Different People
Everyone in Pennsylvania who owns property or has family can benefit from having an estate plan that includes a will and a trust. The majority of Pennsylvania residents have general knowledge regarding the importance of wills – a last will and testament can make your final wishes clear and determine who will inherit which of your possessions – but many individuals believe trusts are only used by the rich. But trusts are not only for those with extensive assets and financial resources! Every individual with an estate plan can take advantage of the tax benefits associated with trusts, and even people who have “normal” incomes and don’t have many assets can save thousands of dollars in probate court costs by having a trust in place.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement created by a “grantor” (you) that allows a trustee (yourself or someone you choose) to manage the trust assets for the benefit of named beneficiaries (which can also be you or other family members you choose). During your lifetime, a trust can help you safely manage your assets for yourself and your family; it offers protection from lawsuits, taxes, creditors, and other risks. A trust also keeps you from being disqualified for specific programs based on income level. However, one of the most important benefits of using a trust is that the trust assets are passed to surviving family members directly upon your death, without having to undergo the costly and time-consuming probate process. Trusts also allow you to keep the details of their assets out of public view. A will alone will not prevent probate from having to occur; that’s why having both documents drafted by a Bethlehem will and trust lawyer are recommended!
Different Types Of Wills And Trusts Under Pennsylvania Law
A Bethlehem will and trust lawyer can provide you with information and guidance regarding the different types of wills and trusts available to choose from under Pennsylvania law. The following are some of the most common wills and trusts valid in Pennsylvania:
- special needs trust
- charitable trust
- pour-over trust
- irrevocable trust
- revocable trust (most common)
- living will
- joint will
- last will and testament (most common)
Which one you create will depend on your goals, financial status, and family dynamics.
Negative Consequences Can Arise for Pennsylvania Residents Who Do Not Have A Will or Trust
One of the most important benefits of having a valid will or trust is avoiding intestacy. If an individual does not have a valid will or trust, their assets will be distributed according to Pennsylvania’s laws of “intestate succession” upon their death. (Intestate just means without a will). Your surviving family members may never know how you wished to have your assets distributed after your death, and the laws don’t know what you wished either; your hard-earned assets and most cherished possessions might not end up going where you intended. Your family may even fight over court processes.
If you have a will, you’ll avoid the intestate mess, but your estate may still have to go through probate administration before the assets can pass to those individuals named in the will. Probate administration is a formal court procedure that may take months or years to end. Also, as we’ve already mentioned earlier, fees and court costs can add up quickly during probate administration. A valid trust will keep your estate out of probate – again, having both can save you and your family many headaches!
How A Bethlehem Will And Trust Lawyer Can Help You And Your Loved Ones
It is not advisable for people to attempt to draft their own estate plan documents; working with a lawyer is always the best way to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that could render your will or trust invalid later! Online legal advice is not specific to your individual case and needs, and may not be state-specific either. Any will or trust must be in accordance with Pennsylvania law. Drafting a valid will or trust is complex, and there is a reason that attorneys go to law school and practice for years to be able to do it!
Joshua N. Daly, our lead Bethlehem will and trust attorney at Daly Law Offices, has 15 years of experience in estate planning law in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Pennsylvania Association of Elder Law Attorneys (PAELA), and the Estate Planning Council of the Lehigh Valley; he was also awarded the Lawyers of Distinction in 2022. He and his team are dedicated to providing practical solutions, professional integrity, and peace of mind for the future to all clients! You can rely on him to help you protect what matters most to you, today. Call to book a free consultation and learn more about your options!
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Bethlehem, PA Practice Areas
Worked together on a relative’s Estate Planning. Very easy to work with and knowledgeable. So glad we chose Josh. Thank you.
Josh we wanted to take a moment to thank you from the 3 of us from the bottom of our hearts. You are a gift and you have such a gift in what you do and they way you actually do it.
A total class act with the perfect personality for your profession. We can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate you and honestly thank so much. And it won’t be the last you see of us. Much Appreciation. The Stine/DiGiovanni family
*We highly recommend Joshua Daly for Elder Law, wills, etc. This is something that people don’t know what can happen when your parents pass away or what to do. Josh helps prevent as much as you legally can the home and assets being taken by elder care home and/or govt.
What a great experience on a subject people don’t like to talk about but is so important. Josh makes this process pleasant. We are recommending Josh to all our friend and family and friends. Everyone should get their ducks in a row. I am glad we met Josh & finally did this!
Thank you Josh
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