Probate of Estates Lawyer in Indiana County
Wills and Estate Planning
We can draft a simple or complex will or trust for you to protect your family, and to provide an orderly distribution of your assets. Other important documents include a power of attorney, and a medical power of attorney (sometimes called a “living” will).
Power of Attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document where you give another individual the legal authority to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated, or otherwise unavailable. It ends upon the death of the person who created it.
Wills and Trusts. If you die without a will, there is a “default” law which specifies how your property is to be divided among your legal heirs. In a will you specify how your property is to be divided among the individuals you name when you pass away. If you have young children, or heirs that may not manage money very well, or have special needs, then you may also want to leave their share to a trust. Remember your initial consultation is free!
When a person passes away the property that they own that is not in an contract or account with a beneficiary designation it is transferred to the heirs at law (if there is no will), or to the beneficiaries named in the will. In order to do this an “estate” is opened in Orphans Court by an administrator (if there is no will), or the executor named in the will. Once the estate is opened notice must be sent to those named in the wills or heirs at law, and inventory is usually filed, an inheritance tax return must be filed, and usually the decedent’s last income tax returns must also be filed before there is any distribution to the heirs at law or those named in the will. Our fee for representing the administrator or executor depends on the size and complexity of the estate, but it is often a small percentage of the value of the estate assets. We will provide you with an estimate of the costs and our fee at, or soon after, our first meeting.