Making sure your goals for today and tomorrow are met is our personal goal at Ronald J. Fichera Law Firm. We will review your assets and discuss with you what you want with regard to your estate.
Contact us online or at 610-76809255 to learn more about wills specifically and estate planning generally so that you and your heirs do not get surprised in a way that is to your detriment.
The person creating a Will is known as a testator. The testator devises property and assets to named beneficiaries in a Will. This gives testators far more control over assets – both while they are alive and after they pass away.
As such, the Will serves four general but important purposes:
In order for the Will to work as intended, it must adhere to proper procedures in accordance with state law.
Each state's requirements of a Will and what makes it valid may differ somewhat, but all states have four requirements that are true no matter what.
If someone dies without a Will, this is known as dying "intestate." The state will step in and distribute any property if a person dies intestate. There are two key reasons to create a Will, rather than relying on intestacy laws to devise your property, and the reasons relate to family and probate matters.
Intestacy laws aim to pass property in a way that most people would want it to pass, which basically means any property is passed to immediate family members first, like children, then parents, siblings, grandparents, and so on. Intestacy laws only benefit you if you are happy about your hard-earned property going to your immediate family member.
If you have stopped a relationship with a family member, that may not be considered when the State steps in to disburse your assets. This could result in property (or even the custody of a minor child) passing to a relative whom you would not wish to be a beneficiary and/or guardian.
Property governed by intestacy law must pass through probate court first, which can be expensive and time-consuming, leaving fewer benefits and more burdens for your loved ones. That said, a valid Will also goes through probate to implement its provisions. The only difference is a well-crafted last will and testament will go through probate rather quickly and without incident because it's harder for someone to challenge it.
Further, there are other ways to distribute property according to your wishes while also avoiding probate completely. Speaking with an estate planning lawyer will help you determine what will work best in your specific situation and with your specific assets.
The expense and lack of control that comes from dying intestate, coupled with the perceived costs of hiring a lawyer to write a will, has led to a huge increase in the use of “do-it-yourself” wills. Often found online for a fee, these forms claim to be just as good as a traditional will prepared by an experienced attorney.
However, these "one size fits all" documents are not tailored to your unique circumstances. The process of creating a DIY will is often accompanied by mistakes that open the door to challenges to the validity of a Will upon your death. In fact, a court may dismiss the Will completely.
If you decide to try a DIY Will first, keep the following five tips in mind:
That said, in the least, it is a good idea to have an attorney review your last will and testament to make sure it's in compliance with state and federal laws.
Every person and every family has unique personal, financial, and business situations. Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney and Advisor is a critical decision. That person should be an experienced attorney with knowledge of the law and business and financial matters. Just as importantly, he or she needs to be sympathetic and empathetic so that you may feel at ease and comfortable in sharing your most personal details.
If you are considering making a last Will and Testament, make sure that you comply with the law and provide very specific instructions in the will. At Ronald J. Fichera Law Firm, we can create strong Wills that comply with state laws, so you don't have to worry about it. We know how hard you worked for your assets and understand why it is so important to distribute your assets in the way you see fit to do it.
Contact us by filling out the online form or calling us directly at 610-768-9255.
Reach out to the Ronald J. Fichera Law Firm, where trust meets excellence. Fill out the form below to secure your family's legacy and receive expert legal counsel. Your peace of mind is our priority.