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Philadelphia Estate Planning Attorney  

Whether you are old or young, or married or single, you should work with a Philadelphia estate planning attorney to ensure that you have all of the necessary documents and materials in place so that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of your death. Estate planning also involves creating advance directives, which can help to ensure that your health care decisions are honored in the event that you become incapacitated and cannot make those decisions for yourself. At van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin, we have years of experience assisting clients in Philadelphia with their estate planning needs, and we can speak with you today.

Common Philadelphia Estate Planning Needs

Our firm can help you with all aspects of your estate planning needs, including but not limited to the following:

  • Drafting a will;
  • Executing a will;
  • Establishing a trust;
  • Creating advance directives;
  • Amending a will; and
  • Managing beneficiary designations.

Drafting a Will in Philadelphia

Drafting a will is one of the most frequent estate planning needs in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania law, similar to other states, has specific requirements for drafting a will. The person making a will must be at least 18 years old and must be of sound mind. For a will to be valid and enforceable in Pennsylvania, it must be written and must be signed by the testator. In situations where the testator cannot physically sign the will but is still of sound mind, Pennsylvania law offers other options for ensuring that the will is valid.

Wills allow parties to determine how their property will be distributed after their death—to family members, friends, charities, and other entities. Anyone who dies without a will ultimately will have their assets distributed according to Pennsylvania intestacy laws. However, there are certain other options for ensuring that your assets are distributed accordingly. Your lawyer can assist you with your beneficiary designations, for example, or you may want to establish a trust.

Establishing a Trust in Philadelphia

There are many different kinds of trusts in Pennsylvania, and it is important to work with a Philadelphia estate planning attorney who understands the specific requirements for each type of trust and how they are used.

Generally speaking, trusts allow property to be distributed without going through probate, and trusts can allow a person to continue providing for family members and others after their death. Some trusts are revocable, while others are irrevocable. You should discuss your specific needs with your attorney. 

Philadelphia Advance Directives and Estate Planning

Advance directives are another key aspect of estate planning. Advance directives allow you to name a medical decision maker if you cannot make decisions on your own, and to create a living will, which outlines specific medical wishes if you cannot voice those wishes yourself. 

Contact Our Philadelphia Estate Planning Lawyers

Estate planning is complicated, but it is incredibly important for everyone. Whether you have questions about drafting an enforceable will, establishing a trust, creating advance directives, or any other aspect of estate planning, one of our experienced Philadelphia estate planning attorneys can assist you. At van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin, we are committed to serving clients in and around Philadelphia with a wide variety of estate planning issues. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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