Assisting You With Smart, Lasting Estate Plans
For 40 years , the lawyers and staff at Avallone Law Associates have been providing estate planning assistance to clients across Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Our attorneys take the time to explain the benefits of drafting and updating wills and other estate documents. They will also listen to your wishes and objectives and work hard to ensure that they are carried out upon your death or incapacitation. Because most people find death and mortality difficult to discuss, the firm approaches each case with patience and understanding.
Estate Planning Basics
Estate planning is aimed at achieving the orderly transfer of your assets, avoiding probate and minimizing gift and estate tax consequences. We believe that there are three basic planning documents that are essential to any estate plan:
- Will — A will delineates the manner in which probate assets will be distributed. By having a will in place, you legalize your wishes to care for your loved ones, friends and charitable organizations.
- General durable power of attorney — This document designates a specific person to act on your behalf either for the sake of convenience or if you become unable to make decisions for yourself, and, in the latter case, helps avoid the costly process of establishing guardianship. A general durable power of attorney is effective as long as you are alive, even if you are completely incapacitated, and gives the designated individual power to do certain things such as buy or sell property, file legal actions, and distribute funds.
- Advance medical directive — Also known as a living will or a health care directive, this document (a.) designates an individual who is authorized to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and (b.) specifies the types of treatment and medical care you wish to receive, as well as the extent of life-saving measures medical professionals should attempt.
When you meet with our estate planning attorneys, we will listen to your wishes, assess your needs, and determine which tools may be most beneficial in your situation. This may include establishing trusts, planning for Medicaid and long-term care, and passing the family business to the next generation.
Many estate planning decisions have tax implications. The firm is skilled at assessing each client’s specific needs and determining the need for consultation with tax professionals. If needed, we work with tax attorneys and accountants to ensure that all potential tax problems are addressed as efficiently and effectively as possible.
To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your estate planning options or to begin crafting your will, contact a wills and trusts lawyer at Avallone Law Associates today.