Wills, Trusts & Estates
Planning for retirement and long-term care requires a “holistic” approach and a variety of strategies that can include family care giving, the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, advance directives, taxation considerations and many other complex issues.
The High Swartz Wills, Trusts & Estates attorneys provide comprehensive legal services to assist in all of these matters. These services include:
- Advance Directives
- Estate Administration & Probate
- Estate Planning
- Powers of Attorney
- Special Needs Trusts
- Will & Trust Litigation
Estate plans are not just for very rich or retired people — more than ever before, they are the right thing for anybody who has a family or a business or wants to be in control of personal health and wealth. High Swartz estate attorneys in Bucks County and Montgomery County support your decision to be proactive in protecting your family’s future. Our estate planning attorneys help you protect, preserve and manage your estate so you can reach your goals of safeguarding assets, planning for orderly business succession, minimizing inheritance taxes and making sure the benefits of your hard work go to your family, not to the government.
What goes into an estate plan?
There can be many instruments that go into an estate plan, but whether your estate is modest or complex, there are several basic ingredients that should be considered:
Understanding Wills and Trusts
Your last will and testament expresses your final wishes regarding how you want your estate distributed. A will goes into effect when you die. A trust goes into effect the moment it is created and is generally used to set aside funds or property for a specific purpose. Our attorneys guide you through the process of creating wills and trusts that meet your estate planning needs.
Also known as Living Wills, advance directives for healthcare in Pennsylvania allow you to decide in advance what type of healthcare you want should you become incapacitated or unable to express your wishes regarding accepting, rejecting or discontinuing medical treatment. Advance Directives also take the onus of having to make painful decisions about your care off your loved ones.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney lets you appoint someone you trust to manage your financial or medical affairs should you be unable or unavailable to handle your own affairs.
Estate Administration & Probate
Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing the assets of the deceased. The tasks of estate administration and probate fall to the executor or personal representative named in the will, or if there is no will, an administrator named by the court.
Probate is the specific manner by which your estate is distributed through the legal system. In Pennsylvania, small estates can go through a simplified process. If the estate has more than $25,000 in assets, regular probate procedures are required. In either case, our lawyers can guide you through the executor or personal representative responsibilities, assuring that you meet deadlines and are in compliance with your fiduciary duties.
What Happens if the Estate is Disputed?
When a will or trust is in dispute, families can be torn apart at the very time they should be pulling together. We help by looking for an estate dispute resolution that causes the least financial and emotional distress. If litigation becomes necessary, we provide vigorous advocacy on behalf of our clients.
A well-crafted and regularly reviewed estate plan is the best gift you can give your family. Let us help you create a plan that works for you and helps you meet your goals. Substantial estates are managed with care and foresight by our estate planning lawyers who counsel our clients on preserving their assets for future generations.
Our Wills, Trusts & Estates attorneys include: