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estate and probate law Archives

Streamlining life in anticipation of probate

Through the years, many Pennsylvania residents accumulate personal items, accounts and other assets that they intend to pass on to their loved ones some day. The problem is that during the probate process, all of those assets must be sifted through, organized and somehow either disposed of or distributed. No matter how good a person's intentions may be, leaving a multitude of items for grieving family members to deal with may not be the best solution.

Don't neglect a living trust during estate planning

Figuring out the best way to provide for loved ones after death is not always an easy journey for many Pennsylvania residents. When they embark on estate planning, they may find that one way to make sure family members have access to what they need as quickly as possible is through the use of a living trust. The problem is that some people fail to make full use of their trusts by executing them and them putting them away for safekeeping.

What makes up an estate? Is probate the best way to pass it on?

Most Pennsylvania residents spend their working years taking care of their loved ones and accumulating property and debts. At some point, nearly all of them need to think about what will happen to their loved ones, their debts and their property after death. What exactly makes up an estate? Is probate really the best way to dispose of and distribute everything when the time comes?

Revocable trusts are valuable but must be used properly

There are numerous ways in which to use estate planning to protect one's assets. For example, people in Pennsylvania use various trusts and other tools to avoid certain taxes or to protect an heir who has special needs or circumstances. However, trusts cannot always protect one's estate from legitimate creditors.

Prince heirs seek new administrator while probate drags on

It has been over a year and a half since superstar Prince was found dead in his mansion. As if the death of Prince did not provide enough of a cautionary tale for those in Pennsylvania whose estates are unprepared, more news has recently come from the seemingly never-ending probate. At first, the court had the monumental task of validating the true heirs from among the dozens who sought to share in the colossal fortune. Now some of the approved heirs are fighting for a new estate administrator.

Estate and probate law include providing for pets

It is no secret that animal shelters are often strained to keep up with the abandoned pets under their care. Animal lovers may dread the thought of those once-loved pets living out their lives in cages with minimal attention and the barest of necessities provided. Some shelters keep animals for a limited time before euthanizing them to make room for more. It may break a pet parent's heart to learn that some of those animals ended up in shelters because their deceased owners made no provisions for them under estate and probate law.

Discussing plans for estate and probate law

The scenario plays out every day in Pennsylvania and across the country. People pass from this life without leaving behind plans for their estate. More tragic may be the families left to make their best guesses about the wishes of a loved one who has become ill or incapacitated. While creating an estate plan is important, some believe those plans are incomplete until the family has discussed them face to face. In fact, estate and probate law discussions may begin sooner than most people realize.

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