Estate planning is the process of preparing for death, incapacity and future health care decisions with the creation of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Health Care Directives. Probate and estate administration is the process of carrying out a deceased loved ones intentions as set forth in a Will. Estate Litigation is a legal challenge to a Will, a Trust or the actions of an executor or trustee. For over 15 years, The Martin Law Firm, P.C. has helped individuals and families with their estate planning, estate administration and estate litigation needs.
Estate planning is the most important step a person can take to make sure that his or her family is provided for in their absence. The basic estate planning document is a Last Will and Testament. A Will is a legal document with specific provisions for the distribution of assets to family members, trusts for minor children, appointment of executors who are responsible for carrying out your intentions, and appointment of trustees and guardians who are responsible for making sure that your children’s personal and financial well-being are provided for after you are gone.
Estate planning also includes planning for incapacity. You may be alive but unable to handle your own personal affairs. A Power of Attorney document allows you to appoint an individual who will have the legal authority to handle all of your financial affairs if you are physically or mentally unable to do so yourself.
And finally, proper estate planning also includes planning for health care decisions to be made when you are unable to make them yourself. Medical Powers of Attorney are used to appoint someone who can make medical decisions for you if you cannot make those decisions. Advance Health Care Directives help you prepare for your treatment if you require future life sustaining measures.
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To begin the process, simply contact our office to arrange a meeting with an attorney. At that meeting we will discuss your objectives and how best to accomplish them. We will prepare your documents and then arrange a time to review the documents with you to make sure that your intentions are clearly stated and your goals are achieved.
PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
Probate is offering a deceased loved one’s Will to the county Register of Wills office so that the Register of Wills can legally appoint the named executor in the Will to begin the estate administration process. Estate administration includes notifying beneficiaries who are named in the Will, identifying assets, paying debts and liabilities, calculating and paying Inheritance taxes, providing beneficiaries with an accounting, and closing the estate. The executor or administrator should hire an experienced attorney to ensure that the duties and responsibilities are carried out.
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We provide representation for beneficiaries, executors, administrators and trustees who are involved in conflict. These matters may include contesting a Will and challenging the validity of the Will (such as forgery, lack of capacity or claims of undue influence); challenging the actions of a fiduciary (executor, administrator or trustee) who may be misappropriating assets, stealing or failing to account for assets; or enforcing a surviving spouse’s right to his or her elective share of the estate. These matters are litigated in the Orphan’s Court. We also help individuals and families with other Orphan’s Court matters including guardianships for incapacitated persons.
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Whether you want to plan for death or incapacity, you have recently lost a loved one, or you are involved in a contested estate matter, we are here to help you. Many of our clients come to us through client referrals due to our diligence, personal touch and honest approach to these matters. Some legal matters are time sensitive, so it is important to consult with an estate lawyer right away. We are proud to serve our clients and we are here to help you. For more information, contact an estate lawyer at The Martin Law Firm, P.C. at 215-687-4053.