Experienced Pennsylvania Attorneys Create Complete Estate Plans
Dedicated Lancaster firm helps clients meet their unique needs
A well-developed estate plan must be tailored carefully to meet an individual’s unique goals. At Metzger and Spencer, LLP in Lancaster, we provide individualized counsel to Pennsylvania clients on all types of estate planning matters. With 80 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys help people in Lancaster, York, Berks, and Lebanon counties address present and future needs. We understand how best to use wills, trusts and advance directives to create an estate plan that will achieve your wishes and minimize tax burdens.
Thorough lawyers draft wills that enable you to leave a proper legacy
However you decide to distribute the bulk of your assets, a last will and testament is the foundation of a solid estate plan. We handle a full range of legal tasks associated with these documents, including:
- Will drafting — Our personal, detailed approach to each will means that we draft a document that not only meets legal requirements and allocates your property but also serves as a fitting legacy to leave to your loved ones.
- Revisions — Throughout our lives, there are changes in relationships and finances that can drastically shift our circumstances and priorities. That’s why it’s important to conduct periodic reviews of your will to ensure that it still reflects your true intentions and your current situation. We’ll offer thoughtful guidance and make any necessary revisions.
- Tax consequences — Preparing a will without the assistance of a qualified adviser who has a complete perspective on your estate could trigger unexpected tax liability. By working with each client personally, our firm can anticipate potential issues and help you avoid unnecessary taxes.
Whether your estate is straightforward or requires sophisticated arrangements for complex financial holdings, you can trust us to create a will that gives you and your family the security you deserve.
What is a Will and a Trust and do I need either one?
A person’s Last Will and Testament is an instrument that when appropriately “published” provides for the disposition of the Testator’s/Testatrix’s (person making the will male/female) assets upon their death. The Will appoints a person(s) or entity(ies) to be responsible for administering the decedent’s estate and empowers the person or entity so appointed to be able to do so. “Published” simply means to execute the will with the proper formalities as prescribed by law. There are many different provisions that can be included in any given Will in order to tailor each Last Will and Testament to the person and a lawyer should be consulted to assist with crafting the document best suited to each individual.
Trusts can be similar to Wills or even part of a person’s Last Will and Testament. There exist numerous types of Trusts including, but not limited to, Revocable Living Trusts, Testamentary Trusts, Special Needs Trusts and Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts. Each Trust serves a particular purpose and not every person needs a Trust. A lawyer should be consulted in order to determine if you should have a Trust and if so, what type of Trust should be implemented.
Trusts, Wills and other vehicles that provide for the disposition of a person’s assets upon their death are critical to ensure that the property passes to those that you designate. Dying without having published a Will and/or Trust could result in a situation where your property passes to people other than those intended by you, such as parents rather than spouses. In today’s world with many extended families, it is more important than ever to seek legal counsel to create and implement the appropriate plan
Skilled advisers prepare living trusts and other instruments to protect assets
With the right guidance, placing your assets in a trust is a simple process that could offer significant benefits for you and your intended beneficiaries. Despite what some might think, these legal instruments aren’t just for wealthy individuals: trusts can serve a variety of purposes tailored to the trust creator’s objectives. Whether you’re looking to reduce tax liability, make a charitable bequest or direct how your funds should be spent, we will explain how proper planning can make that possible. Living trusts are a popular option because they allow people to use what they’ve accumulated throughout their lifetime and then, upon their death, pass the remaining assets to named beneficiaries without having to go through the probate process.
Knowledgeable attorneys outline the legal guardianship process
Though many people think of estate planning as being concerned only with the distribution of assets, other concerns are even more important. We advise parents of minor children and individuals who have legal responsibility for disabled adults on establishing guardianship instructions that address the needs of children and wards in the event of an untimely death. Though the final determination is made by the court, great deference is given to well-supported instructions that are left behind. If you’re looking to establish guardianship for a child who lacks proper supervision or an adult who needs help handling legal, financial or health issues, our attorneys will explain the relevant legal procedure.
Reputable firm advises on living wills and advance directives
When people are incapacitated by a severe medical crisis and unable to communicate their wishes, critical decisions must be made about their treatment and future. Without clear instructions, there might be no way to determine whether a patient wants extraordinary medical measures to be taken. To retain control over your treatment and save your loved ones from having to make agonizing decisions, it’s important to have a well-drafted advance healthcare directive. We draft such documents, which contain living will provisions that state the types of treatment you want, and don’t want, if you are in dire health and unable to communicate. You can also execute a durable healthcare power of attorney, which designates a trusted person to carry out your directions for medical treatment.
Contact a Lancaster estate planning attorney to schedule a consultation
Metzger and Spencer, LLP assists Pennsylvanians with a full range of estate planning issues, including the creation of wills, trusts and advance medical directives. Please call 717-208-3145 or contact us online to make an appointment for a meeting at our Lancaster office.