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Why Hiring the Right Estate Planning Attorney Is So Important

While no one wants to contemplate the end life and the decisions that come with it, having a plan for your estate is the best way to ensure that your assets are transferred according to your wishes, while minimizing taxes and complications for your family. Whether your estate is modest or vast, the first step to getting your affairs in order is creating a specialized estate plan with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney.

While any estate attorney can draw up many of the necessary estate planning documents such as your will, power of attorney and living will, an experienced estate planning attorney will help you understand all of your options and avoid legal pitfalls throughout the estate planning process.

Estate Planning Information

Wills

From the simplest to the most complex estate plans, the will is the central, foundational document. It is the basic legal instrument that articulates the distribution of wealth and the manner in which it is distributed. Although there might be many other documents involved in a comprehensive estate plan, no estate plan is truly complete without a last will and testament.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is an essential estate planning document, since it allows you to designate a specific trusted person you choose to be in charge of your affairs in case you become incapacitated and can no longer make vital decisions for your health, wealth and well-being. In the absence of a power of attorney, your loved ones may need to petition the court guardianship in order to legally handle your affairs.

Living Will

A Pennsylvania living will leaves directions for those in charge of your care in case you have become incapacitated or are unable to make final health care decisions on your own. A living will can promote decision-making unity among your family members and peace of mind for all, during a difficult time for your loved ones.

Need help creating these essential estate planning documents?

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Trusts

Trusts are used as a means of handling an estate's assets, such as leaving a legacy, protecting assets, ensuring minors or incapacitated family members are properly cared for, or as a vehicle to help minimize death taxes and the expenses associated with estate administration. There are many different kinds of trusts including:

  • Special needs trust - created to benefit incapacitated family members or minor children, and to preserve eligibility for essential benefits such as Social Security disability, Medicaid and other government benefits
  • Charitable trust - established to benefit a charity or personal cause upon death, and at the same time offer you certain tax advantages
  • Charitable remainder trust - assets are donated to a charity, but you continue to receive income and tax benefits during your life
  • Irrevocable trust - becomes a gift of assets or property where you relinquish all ownership and control
  • Revocable trusts - allows you to terminate the trust at your discretion

Our attorneys can help you weigh your options and decide if establishing a trust is right for you.

SENIORS LIVING IN CARE FACILITIES

If you are a resident of a care facility in the Lancaster, PA area who hasave entrusted your will to a bank or have not thoroughly planned your estate, an estate planning lawyer from our firm can help put your affairs in order. May, May & Zimmerman, LLP is an established law firm in the Lancaster area when it comes to estate planning. We can help you ensure you have not missed anything that could cause hardship for you or your loved ones in the future.

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