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Berks County Estate Planning

Philadelphia County Estate Planning Attorney Serving Clients Throughout the Area

Offering Services For Berks County Clients

As an estate planning attorney serving clients in Berks County, it is important to inform potential clients about the various legal mechanisms involved in estate planning. These include wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and healthcare documents. It’s a common misconception among new clients that they do not possess an estate plan. In reality, everyone has a plan by default: if no legal measures are taken, their estate will be distributed posthumously according to Pennsylvania’s intestacy laws. This default plan might not reflect their personal wishes. Creating a well-drafted estate plan allows you to supplant the state’s default plan with one tailored to your preferences. Begin crafting your estate plan with the guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer.

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We are committed to assisting you in this process and ensuring that your estate plan reflects your individual needs and circumstances, even if you are based in Philadelphia County.

Further Insights into Estate Planning Services:

Your Last Will and Testament:

The last will and testament is a crucial element of a comprehensive estate plan. If someone passes away without a will, they are considered to have died “intestate,” and the distribution of their assets will be governed by state laws. Key aspects of wills include:

  • A will becomes legally valid only after death. It does not govern the management of affairs during incapacitation due to illness or injury.
  • A will alone cannot circumvent probate. It is essentially a ticket to the probate process.
  • A will is an appropriate instrument for appointing guardians for minor children in case of the parents’ untimely demise. Failure to specify guardians can lead to family disputes and potential misplacement of your children.

Powers of Attorney:

A power of attorney is a legal instrument that grants someone else (the attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on your behalf. The scope of this authority depends on the terms of the document and can range from broad to very specific. Powers of attorney end with the death of the creator and may also cease if the creator becomes incapacitated. For cases of incapacity, a durable power of attorney is recommended. To ensure effectiveness, it is advisable to regularly update durable powers of attorney, as financial institutions may be reluctant to accept older documents.

Health Care Documents (or Advance Directives):

An advance directive is a legal document outlining your preferences for medical and personal care in the event that you lose decision-making capabilities. Any person over 18 can execute an advance directive, which is enforceable in Pennsylvania. This document allows you to designate someone to make decisions on your behalf and can include instructions for situations where you would not want life-prolonging measures. Accompanying an advance directive should be an authorization for your medical providers, permitting designated individuals to access your medical information, without which doctors might deny communication with your chosen representative.

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Book An Initial Call With Ravenell Law, LLC Now

Whether you’re in need of an estate planning update, or if you need to determine whether your plan is due for an update, book a call today to get your plan up to date!