By working closely with our clients, we offer the peace of mind that both their wishes and the needs of their loved ones will be met in the future.
Our estate planning law firm near Harrisburg also provides comprehensive estate administration services. We work closely with fiduciaries to guide them through the complex maze of rules and regulations that govern the administration of estates, guardianships and Trusts.
It is important to be prepared for end-of-life matters. The attorneys at Johnson Duffie have over 100 years of experience assisting clients when it comes time to draft a Will, which is one of the most important things a person can do to protect the future of his or her estate. Wills can create a trust for minors, distribute property, name a guardian for your minor children, create a special needs trust for a disabled beneficiary, and minimize death tax.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement in which a trustee holds assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts can specify how and when assets should be distributed to beneficiaries. When a person has a trust, they may be able to avoid the probate process when the time comes to distribute assets. This planning can save a family time, money, and court fees.
Probate is the legal process that occurs after an individual’s death. An individual’s estate can go through the probate process if he or she dies with or without a valid Will If the decedent dies with a Will, the estate can pass through probate, and assets can be distributed according to the terms outlined in the Will. Conversely, if a decedent dies without a Will, the law will dictate how the decedent’s estate assets will be distributed.
When an individual dies, an estate may need to be opened and the process of estate administration will begin. If the decedent dies with a Will, he or she is said to have died “testate.” Within the Will, the decedent would have appointed an executor. This executor holds the responsibility of carrying out the decedent’s wishes as referenced in his or her will. The executor must also pay the decedent’s debts and file accurate tax returns including the Pennsylvania inheritance tax return and the Federal estate tax return, both of which are due within nine months of the decedent’s date of death.
There may come a time when you are unable to make a decision for yourself for any number of reasons. A Power of Attorney (POA) gives another person the power to make financial decisions, health care decisions, and to handle property transactions on your behalf. The individual who is named to act on your behalf is known as the agent. You should execute a power of attorney in the event you become unable to handle matters for yourself due to sickness or an injury, or if you will be away for an extended period of time.
When a loved one becomes incapacitated and can on longer make decisions for themselves, it may be the responsibility of a family member to make decisions for them. It is of the utmost importance that an individual creates an advance healthcare directive to provide those family members with guidance in making those decisions. It is essential to retain the services of a qualified estate planning attorney who can guide you through creating an advance healthcare directive.
Planning for life as you age or helping to plan the future of your elderly loved one is a very important process. When individuals have a plan in place for their future or a loved one’s, they can feel at ease and relieved that they prepared for uncertainty. Planning for the future can seem very daunting, so it can be of great value to seek the help of an attorney who can help with your elder law needs such as Medicaid and nursing home planning.
When a loved one passes away, his or her estate must be closed, all assets must be administered to beneficiaries, and any remaining debts must be paid. Sometimes, contentious disputes can arise between beneficiaries and the estate administrator or executor. It can be difficult to resolve these issues in accordance with the decedent’s wishes. During such a difficult time, it is a good idea to retain the services of an estate or trust litigation attorney.
When a loved one becomes incapacitated and has not created and implemented a plan for decision-making, he or she may need a guardian to assist with decision-making. A court will appoint someone to make financial and health care decisions for you.
Many non-traditional family relationships exist today, like blended (stepparents and stepchildren), unmarried, homosexual or heterosexual, with or without children – these
family dynamics require special arrangements. Make sure your health care, property division, and funeral arrangements are carried out, all while protecting your beneficiaries.
When clients throughout Pennsylvania require legal guidance to assist them in matters related to the estate, they can turn to the experienced attorneys at Johnson Duffie . For over 100 years, our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys have provided clients with the assistance they need to prepare for the future and resolve estates. Contact Johnson Duffie and complete our estate planning questionnaire today.
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