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Estate Planning

Every adult individual, regardless of their economic status should have an estate plan. Estate plans range from the basic Simple Will, Living Will and Power of Attorney to more complex estate plans for when the client’s total value of assets is high enough to implicate the Federal Wealth Transfer Taxes. Each client should have an estate plan tailored to achieve his or her goals. At Miller Law Offices we deliver sound advice to clients in estate planning and probate administration law.

Our attorneys handle estate planning and probate administration, which includes the following:

  • Will/Living Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Guardianship
  • Orderly distribution of assets
  • Will contests
  • Inheritance Tax

Estate planning and probate administration are linked together, but they do have their differences. In estate planning, individuals and/or businesses map out where and what they want to happen to themselves, their legal property, and their assets. Specifically we can draft wills and trusts (revocable and irrevocable).

Estate Planning is the creation, coordination and use of legal, financial and insurance instruments to carry out the wishes of the client regarding the disposition of the client’s assets, and regarding the client’s health care and financial decision-making.

A Will is an instrument through which a person distributes his or her assets upon death. Wills can also be used to create Trusts for any purpose and guardianships for minors and other dependent persons. A Will names an Executor, who is the person who will administer a person’s Estate upon death. A Will names beneficiaries and determines what property goes to which beneficiaries.

Two types of POA commonly used in Estate Planning are:

  1. Durable General Power of Attorney and
  2. Durable Health Care Power of Attorney.

Each document is used to designate an agent to act on your behalf. The General POA is for matters such as handling your finances, buying and/or selling real estate, purchasing health or life insurance, managing investment accounts, and similar. A Heath Care POA is used for matters such as admitting a person into a hospital or health facility, hiring and firing health care professionals and making decisions regarding medical care and treatment.

A Trust is an estate planning tool a person creates to hold and control assets for the benefit of another person(s) or entity. Trusts can be created for many reasons. Certain types of Trusts can be used to reduce taxes. Other types of Trusts can be used to protect assets from the beneficiary’s spendthrift lifestyle or from creditors of the beneficiary. The creator of the Trust determines the purpose and the restrictions of the Trust.

We provide full representation from start to finish for individuals named as Executors through a decedent’s Will, or for the decedent’s next of kin if the decedent did not have a Will. We assist in gathering, valuing and distributing Estate assets. We advise on how to administer the Estate in order to reduce taxes. We prepare and file the tax returns associated with the death of the decedent.

An individuals’ will is put into effect and orderly distribution of assets occurs. This is the phase when inheritance tax is paid and where will contest may occur.
Our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys understand the complexities that go into estate planning and probate administration. They help their clients understand what they need to do in order to protect what they have worked so hard for. Our lawyers will litigate matters if necessary to ensure that their clients wishes are carried out.

We represent Executors, beneficiaries or other interested third parties in litigation involving Estates. Estate litigation can include challenges to the validity of a Will, removal of an Executor, fraud, theft or incorrect or inappropriate distribution of assets.

In order to tailor an estate plan to achieve your goals, our estate planning attorneys need you to provide them with some basic personal, family and financial information before the initial consultation.