Someone's hand signing a document

Trusts in Estate Planning and Litigation

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Trusts are an ancient legal mechanism that protect your assets, and they’ve only become more popular with time. Trusts can be used instead of wills to pass on your assets to the next generation, or as a way to protect money for a family member…
An attorney at his desk with two clients sitting on the other side

When is the Reading of the Will?

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The scene opens in an oak-paneled conference room, as shafts of light descend through the large windows in the lawyer’s office onto the pages of an ancient, creased will. The grumpy lawyer slowly begins with some preamble when he is interrupted…
A woman signing a short certificate

What can I do with a short certificate?

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When you obtain a short certificate for an estate, what does it empower you to do? The short certificate is the document granted by the Register of Wills in a county to the Executor of an estate. The Executor, having named and granted these…
People having a family settlement meeting

Reaching Family Settlement Agreements in Estates

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When a family member passes away, many factors can combine to create conflict over how to resolve the estate. Oral promises made by the decedent while alive, or a confusing portion of a will, or an apparent change in circumstances since the…
A woman calculating numbers on a document

What is a Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania?

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Power of Attorney is a document granting one person the ability to make decisions regarding property and possessions on behalf of another. The power of attorney document (POA) is named this because the agent can act in many ways as an attorney…
Mountains at sunset

Opening an Estate in Schuylkill County

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When someone you love has passed away, you’re confronted with many difficult decisions, and an estate process that can feel very complicated. If the person that you love passed away while living in Schuylkill County, here are the first three…
A person signing a document

Avoiding Probate in Estate Planning

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As we have discussed in other articles, probate is the process of an opening of an estate and transferring ownership of assets from a deceased individual to that person’s beneficiaries. Probate can be an expensive and time-consuming process,…
A man looking out at some water

What Do I Do with the Will When A Loved One Passes Away?

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When you experience a death in the family, the details of wrapping up the loved one’s legal affairs can seem overwhelming. One of the first questions that many people ask after the death of a loved one is, “What do I do with the Will?” "What…
A bouquet of flowers

What is Probate?

When a loved one passes away, the details can be overwhelming. Those left behind are suddenly confronted with a myriad of strange vocabulary to learn and figure out what to do with. One common word that you’ll begin hearing is “Probate.”…