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Wills, Trusts and Estates

Experienced Pennsylvania wills, trusts and estates attorney

With over 30 years of experience, attorney James. F Carney possesses in-depth knowledge of the varied aspects of Wills, Trusts and Estate Administration, including:

  • Estate tax issues
  • Executorship duties
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Wills drafting and execution
  • Living trusts
  • Probate
  • Probate and will disputes

Wills

A will is essential at every stage of your life, providing you with the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes for what will happen upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to someone who is not your blood relative, e.g., a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the law determines how your property is distributed and who assumes the key role of settling your estate — and the results the law provides may not reflect your desires.

Changing your will

As your life evolves, so too may your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. We draft valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, parenthood status, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.

Appointing a guardian

Your will allows you to make decisions about the future care of your minor children. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or in the event that both parents die in a common incident. If you have not named a guardian for your children, the court appoints a guardian to make parental decisions. It is important that such a critical decision be made by you.

Creating an effective estate plan

Drafting an effective will requires more than filling in a form. If a court determines that your will is invalid, your desires will not be honored upon your death. We meticulously draft your will and consider all aspects of your estate plan. We review your family arrangements, financial situation and philosophical goals to guide you in making the best estate planning decisions, and we draft your will accordingly.

Estate planning

The Law Offices of James F. Carney can advise you on the best approach to your estate planning. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones. We can draft a will that reflects your desires and establish living trusts if they would be beneficial to your estate.

Probate

We apply our extensive knowledge about Pennsylvania probate court to guide you through the complex process of probating a will. We assist executors in all steps of the process, including:

  • Creating a plan of action to probate the estate fairly and expeditiously
  • Filing the will with the probate court in Pennsylvania
  • Closing and opening bank accounts
  • Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
  • Valuing the estate
  • Managing and liquidating assets as appropriate
  • Paying taxes and other debts
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Hiring professionals and experts as necessary

Probate disputes

When disputes occur between beneficiaries, we successfully represent your interests. We have the extensive knowledge to challenge invalid wills or to defend valid wills against the improper assertions of dissatisfied beneficiaries. As skillful mediators and litigators, we can negotiate between beneficiaries to preserve relationships or fastidiously pursue your rights in court when necessary.

Contact a meticulous estate administration lawyer

The Law Offices of James F. Carney serves clients in Plymouth Meeting and throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at   610-940-3990 or contact us online.