Should I retain an Estate Lawyer in Philadelphia to guide me through settling an Estate?

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If you had to cross a beautiful meadow but there was a big sign saying “Beware, this is a mine field.  An experienced professional guide is available to guide you through the field and you are guaranteed you will not strike a mine if you retain him.”  Would you risk serious injury, maiming or death to save the fee of the experienced guide?  I doubt it but many people do just that and try to administer Estates without the guidance of an experienced Estate Lawyer inPhiladelphia. Do you know how to marshal a Decedent’s assets, how to find out what assets a decedent owned, how to obtain a federal tax ID number, which obligations can be settled at a fraction of the debt, how to prepare the documents required by the Register of Wills and the Orphan’s Court, how to prepare a Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax return, a United States Fiduciary tax return, a Pennsylvania income tax return?

These are things that must be done even in the smallest Estates.  But retaining an Estate Lawyer in Philadelphia can, in addition, reducing the Pennsylvania Inheritance Taxes paid by the Estate, you can save future income taxes because of his knowledge of the interrelation of the Inheritance tax and the federal income tax, he can settle debt obligations for a fraction of the claim even through there are enough assets to pay the debt in full, elect to shorten the statute of limitations available to creditors to file claims.  The list goes on and on.  The Administration of an Estate without the guidance of an Estate Lawyer in Philadelphia is a mine field as the layman will not even be aware of any problems until they strike.  2 recent examples of people who called me because they found my web sight come to mind.  An executor administering an Estate without the guidance of an Estate Lawyer in Philadelphia made decisions on her Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax returns designed to save Inheritance tax.  She was unaware of the effect that made on the Estate’s income tax until she was presented with a very large bill from the IRS.

Another example was an Administrator who believed she was the Decedent’s next of kin, transferred the Decedent’s home to herself and, when she had it under agreement of sale found out that she was required to get the Orphans’ Court’s permission and ended up loosing the house. These and other horror stories are too common and they could have been avoided by retaining an Estate Lawyer in Philadelphia.  Avoiding situations like the ones described here are part of the routine services that are offered by an Estate Lawyer in Philadelphia.

I accept fees based upon a fee schedule setting forth the guidelines of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and/or the Pennsylvania Attorney general. These fees are based upon the size of the gross estate and start at 7% of the first $25,000 of the gross estate.  That means that if your gross estate is $25,000 the fee will be $1,750 leaving $23,500 to pay debts, taxes and inheritance.  The percentage falls as the value of the estate grows.  The fee also reduces as the Estate Lawyer inPhiladelphia saves you Inheritance taxes, income taxes and settles debts at a fraction of the face value.  Please do not walk into a mine field but retain the services of an experienced Estate Lawyer inPhiladelphia to make sure the path is easy and safe.

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Tips for Choosing a Probate Lawyer in Philadelphia

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Are you searching for an experienced Probate Lawyer in Philadelphia? When it comes to selecting someone to deal with the important matters involved in the estate of a deceased loved one or family member, then you need to find someone who is suitable and sensitive to your needs. Below I will explore the top tips for choosing a probate lawyer. With over 1.5 Million people in the City alone, there is a selection of probate lawyers available for you to consider. However finding someone who is both experienced and compassionate can be a challenge, read on to understand my top 5 tips for choosing a probate lawyer:

 

1)     Research - It is important to learn what types of services a probate lawyer can offer you. You should aim to find someone that can offer both probate advice but also estate planning. By having a broader experience of estate law you can ensure the best experience. You should learn what areas of practice your probate lawyer specializes in such as dealings with complex wills and special needs trusts.

 

2)     References - Asking around friends and family to see if they have had dealings with a probate lawyer in Philadelphia can be a great help. Alternatively you may also ask the probate lawyer themselves if they have any testimonials or example cases for you to check over.

 

3)     Location - You don’t want to be driving too far to be having probate meetings and so it is important to choose a probate lawyer that has an office close to your home. Alternatively ask if the probate lawyer can visit you and the other family members if possible.

 

4)     Qualifications - Experience is more important than qualifications in probate law, however it is worth checking to see if your preferred probate lawyer has any qualifications. You can ask if the probate lawyer is up to date with the latest local probate laws and practices.

 

5)     Fee Policy - The benefits of using a probate lawyer are invaluable, however all lawyers have a standard fee structure in place. It is important to receive an up-to-date fee policy before you sign anything. You should aim to understand any costs and ask if an initial consultation fee would apply.

 

I hope that this guide has helped you to understand the importance of research when it comes to finding a probate lawyer in the Philadelphia area.

 

Considering Estate Lawyer Fees in Philadelphia

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Are you considering hiring an estate lawyer in Philadelphia but are worried about fees? Estate Law can be a complicated process including complicated family wills and probate tax issues. Today I will explore some of the most popular questions you may need answering before contacting your new probate lawyer. Read on to learn more about the most common things you should consider before signing any agreement with an estate lawyer in Philadelphia.

 

  • Are there any initial consultation fees? – On your first meeting with your estate lawyer you need to ask if there is any cost involved in the initial session. A good experienced Lawyer will not charge you any fee for the initial conference. Use this session wisely to fully understand the fee policy going forward so that you can decide if the estate lawyer is suitable for you.

 

  • Are there any contingent fees? – During your initial meetings your estate lawyer should be able to predict how long and costly your service will be based on the complexity of your estate and the Will. However it is important to clarify if there will be any contingent fees should things crop up along the process. A good experience  lawyer should not charge any contingent fees other than those outlined in the fee policy.

 

  • Do you have to sign a fee agreement? - A well-drawn up fee policy agreement is in both your interest and that of the estate lawyer. This is sort of a contract that is signed to agree on the fee prices and time expended in rendered services. This can also be known as an engagement letter. Although it is rare, should anything go wrong with your estate process then you can always come back to reference this agreement.

 

I hope that I have helped to explain the most important initial questions that you should be looking to consider when signing up with a probate lawyer in Philadelphia. A good experienced lawyer will pay for himself in the long term, however it is important that you fully understand the estate lawyer’s fee policy from the beginning of your journey. Work out the total estimated fees and avoid any estate lawyers that may charge unknown contingent fees. Read your agreement letter carefully before signing and you should be best protected and receive the highest value from your estate lawyer in Philadelphia.

 

Top 3 considerations for your Estate Planning Lawyer in Philadelphia

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Are you considering formal estate planning in Philadelphia? There can be many important factors to initially discuss with your estate planning lawyer. Today I will explore some of the questions you may experience when searching for a good quality experienced professional. Remember that in Philadelphia, laws may govern whom your estate will be left to without a will, therefore it is vital to have a professional draw up a clear estate will plan. Below are my top 3 considerations to check during your first consultation session:

1. Clear Declaration – Estate Wills can be complex documents and may be often misinterpreted. It is therefore vital to make a clear declaration when estate planning to ensure that everyone understands who gets what. In Philadelphia the law can determine who receives your estate without a Will therefore it is important to make a clear declaration of your wishes, which your estate planning lawyer can provide for you.

2. Discuss Estate Taxes – You may be surprised to learn that the beneficiaries of your estate may be subject to additional estate taxes after you pass. You should discuss these with your estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, who will be able to explain the options your family and loved ones can try to reduce the amount of these taxes.

3. Consider College Funds – If you would like part of your estate to go to family ones to pay for their future college funds then you need to explain this to your estate planning lawyer. They can write up a bond type agreement to ensure that these funds are held for college education.

I hope that you would have found this information valuable on your search for an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia. As you can see estate planning is a complex process involving complicated legal documents and you also need to consider other issues such as income taxes and any charitable donations. While you may be able to estate plan yourself, a mistake can be costly and may result in the most important people in your life missing out on what they deserve.

An experience estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia is the best way to cover all these issues. Nobody likes to consider these questions while you are alive and healthy but estate management is important and should not be put off. By following these tips you should be confident of discovering your new estate planning lawyer and enjoy peace of mind for you and your family.

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