Tag Archive estate planning

When someone asks if you would be the executor of one’s estate when he or she is gone, it’s a tremendous honor. It means the person trusts you implicitly and is willing to hand off a great deal of one’s life to you, knowing you will safeguard his or her wishes and heirs. It’s tempting to say yes just because it seems rude to forgo that honor, but when you say yes if you can’t really follow through, you do yourself and your family member or friend a disservice. Here are some things to consider before saying yes.

First, do you have the resources to give to such a project, and can you reasonably expect that will be the case later? If you, yourself, are ailing, then you might not be in the best position to act as an executor. The same is true if you have small children, an especially demanding career or if you are dealing with your own financial or other crisis. As an executor, you might have to be able to put some of your own issues on hold to handle immediate needs for the estate.


Second, are you mentally and emotionally prepared to handle these duties? If you don’t deal well with people or stress, or financial issues give you flights of anxiety, you probably aren’t the best person for the job. Consider your attributes honestly and talk with your friend or family member openly about any qualms you might have before you say yes.


Finally, do you have the knowledge to handle the job or the time to learn it? You need a fairly decent grasp of financial management and the ability to learn about estate laws and tax issues that might be relevant. You can work with an estate lawyer to manage some of these issues, but you do need to be able to understand the language and concepts to make viable decisions.


Source: AARP, “Things to Know About Being an Executor of Estate,” Carole Fleck, accessed March 24, 2017

Where is the money going? This is a question that many Pennsylvania residents ask. In many cases, it is simply being spent on legitimate household expenses. However, in other cases, a spouse may be attempting to stash money in a secret account or hiding a debt that he/she does not want the other spouse to be aware of. Often, this is a prelude to an impending divorce decision.


In many cases, there are subtle signs that one needs to pay attention to. When money that is usually available is no longer there, it may be time to do a little research. Where is this money going? Perhaps one’s spouse is attempting a surprise. But, is such a surprise going to be a pleasant one?


Prior to asking for a divorce, many individuals seek to protect themselves financially by stashing funds in a separate bank account or paying off debt. The premise behind such action is often to have money available to pay expenses associated with a divorce and to be able to establish a separate household. Depending upon the family dynamics and financial situation, this may place an additional burden upon an already unstable family situation.


It may not always be possible to discover financial secrets prior to divorce proceedings. Fortunately, each Pennsylvania resident involved in a divorce will be required to disclose all financial accounts during the process. With this information in hand, the individual, along with legal counsel, will be able to decide the best course of action to protect oneself financially throughout the process and in the future.

Lawyer, attorney, law, divorce, bankruptcy, real estate, alimony, debt, debtor, creditor, child support, adoption, estate, probate, wills, estate planning, central Pennsylvania, PA, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebanon, York, Carlisle, Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, Republican, democrat,

The loss of a loved one could leave anyone with questions. While you may have expected your loved one’s passing for some time due to health issues, you may still wonder what will happen to his or her estate and whether you will play a role in the probate process. Though you may already know that you are not the executor, you may still want to review certain probate documents.


In most cases, the executor will contact the necessary parties, including beneficiaries, to let them know that they have been named in a will or otherwise named in an estate plan. However, it is not always easy to get in contact with executors, and some do not handle their duties correctly. As a result, you may want to take matters into your own hands.


Requesting probate documents

Because probate proceedings become part of the public record, the public can access any documents submitted for your loved one’s probate case. You may want to receive a copy of the will to go over the information included in it, and you can request a copy from the court. First, you need to find out where the executor filed the will, and that is usually the county in which the decedent lived. You can utilize online resources to find out how to request copies of those documents.


You may need to pay a copying fee, but usually, these fees are minimal. You can go to the court in person to request a copy of the desired documents, or you could make a request by fax or mail. If you make the request by mail, you would be wise to include a self-addressed stamped envelope so the court can easily send your documents to you.


What if something is off?

You may want to obtain copies of your loved one’s will because you felt that something was off with the probate proceedings already. Unfortunately, if the executor is not acting appropriately or if you believe someone unduly influenced your loved one into creating a new will, you may find yourself in a difficult spot. Still, having the documents you need could help you determine whether you have reason to take legal action to address a problem.


If you do suspect that a serious issue has come about with your loved one’s probate case, you may want to discuss your concerns with an experienced Pennsylvania attorney who can explain your options.

Lawyer, attorney, law, divorce, bankruptcy, real estate, alimony, debt, debtor, creditor, child support, adoption, estate, probate, wills, estate planning, central Pennsylvania, PA, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebanon, York, Carlisle, Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, Republican, democrat,