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Reading Estate Planning Lawyers

How old should you be when you start estate planning? How much wealth do you need before drafting a will? Do I really need a lawyer to help with all this? These are questions we hear over and over again from our clients, and the truth is, there’s no one single answer to them. Estate planning is as unique as each individual we work with, and it’s never too early—or too late—to get started. 

If you’re in the Reading, Pennsylvania, area or anywhere throughout Berks County and the neighboring counties of Schuylkill, Montgomery, Lancaster, Chester, and Lebanon, give us a call today to talk about your options. At Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC, we’re committed to creating meaningful relationships with our clients and answering all your questions so you can make informed choices about your future.

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Why Estate Planning Is Important

Many people are under the false impression that you have to be old or considerably wealthy to have an estate plan, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Estate planning is for anyone who cares about their loved ones and wants to put structures in place to ensure they’re looked after. 

Estate planning is a broad term used to describe any legal document used to make an advanced plan about what should happen to you and your assets should you die or become incapacitated. An estate plan lets you arrange everything while you’re still of sound mind and body so that when the time comes, your loved ones are not tasked with the burden of untangling your affairs. This is important regardless of your level of health or age since none of us know when our time will come. Additionally, if you put a plan in place when you’re younger, it will be easier and cheaper to maintain it and revise it as you age. 

The number one benefit of establishing an estate plan early is the peace of mind it will give you and your family, but there are a number of legal considerations as well. When a person dies without a will in place (known as dying intestate), all their assets must go through the courts in a process known as probate. This means the court, rather than you, will now be making the decisions about what should happen with your assets. Even if you have a simple will, it will still have to go through probate, but it will be much faster since you’ll have named an executor who’s in charge of administering your will. If you want to avoid the lengthy and costly process of probate, you should look into establishing a trust. With a living trust, you’ll have already moved assets out of your name and into the name of a trustee, so these items can then go directly to your beneficiaries with no court involvement.

Documents That May Be Included in an Estate Plan 

The backbone of any estate plan is a will, and this is where most people start. A will can list all your assets, assign beneficiaries, assign an executor, and name a legal guardian for any minor children. On top of this, many people choose to establish a trust as well, and the most common type is a living trust. 

It’s called a living trust because you open it while you’re still living, and you retain control over it for as long as you’re capable of doing so. This means you can move assets in and out of the trust and reassign or remove beneficiaries as you see fit. Your assets will legally be in the name of your named trustee, but you’ll still be in charge. When you dopass, your heirs won’t have to work with the courts and will instead have their assets transferred directly to them. 

In addition to asset protection planning, an estate plan can also contain powers of attorney and an advance healthcare directive. The person you name to have powers of attorney will be able to represent you and make decisions on your behalf for any business, financial, and legal matters. Your advance healthcare directive can lay out your wishes for end-of-life care and medical procedures should you become incapable of communication. 

How Your Attorney Can Help

When you work with an estate planning attorney, you’ll have a partner throughout this process, not only during your own life but also after you pass. This can be especially useful if there are disagreements amongst relatives after you pass and they turn to the court for help. Judges will often consult with the attorney that drafted the estate plan for help during this time for trust and probate administration. 

An experienced attorney will also take the time to truly get to know you in order to better understand your goals. They can then draft an estate plan that meets your needs and help you with complicated decisions like choosing a power of attorney or executor. Lastly, they’ll ensure your plan is legally enforceable so you can rest easy knowing your loved ones are taken care of and your wishes will be followed.

estate planning

Estate Planning Attorney Serving Reading, Pennsylvania

Everyone deserves to have an estate plan in place that accurately reflects their goals for the future, and at Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC, we can help. If you’re in the Reading, Pennsylvania, region and would like to speak with a skilled estate planning attorney, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

A Team That Truly Cares

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To get started, please book an initial 15 Minute Consultation with Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC
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Client Success Stories

Very helpful. Staff genuinely cared about our needs.
Dan Clouser
October 26, 2022.
A delight to work with. Curran Estate Services are truly in the business of helping people!
Julie Krasley
September 29, 2022.
Very thorough. Friendly, compassionate, knowledgeable staff.
Ron Hirneisen
August 31, 2022.
5 Stars is not enough! If I could, I would give Curran Estate & Elder Law a 10-star review … and here is why: • They listen to you and your situation. The first question Sean asked me was, “How about we begin with you telling us about your family and the need for our services?” I had come to them as a caregiver for a spouse with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Both of us were in need of Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney, Last Will & Testaments, and Living Wills. • They really do care about you and your family. The February day we were to meet with Sean to have the legal documents signed, a snowstorm began. Rather than have my homebound spouse go out in the weather, Sean, Lois, and Susan came to our home. The Curran Estate & Elder Law team takes a genuine interest in you. As we were going through the process of selecting persons to be our Powers-of-Attorney, the Curran Team wanted to know about each person we chose. • They know what they are doing. Sean and the Life Care Team reviewed our particular situation and made recommendations based upon our needs. They do not have a “one size fits all” approach to their work. • They communicate very well and explain things thoroughly. Each staff member is very good at explaining what each legal document means. • They completed the necessary work in a timely manner. In a surprisingly brief amount of time, we were notified that all the legal documents were complete and could be reviewed at our convenience. The Life Care Plan offers the expert services of the law firm plus a compassionate Elder Care Coordinator. I have leaned on the Elder Care Coordinator for helpful guidance and suggestions. I have received an immense amount of help from the Elder Care Coordinator when placing my loved one in various skilled nursing and memory care facilities. I am relieved in knowing I have the Elder Care Coordinator as a trustworthy guide through these days. For the last 18 months, by utilizing the services of Sean Curran and the Life Care Program Team, I have found relief and peace of mind in knowing that my loved one will be taken care of for the balance of her life. With gratitude, Rev. Paul L. Jones
Bahia Paw
July 20, 2022.
Fantastic top-notch law firm . They do professional and thorough work. They have fantastic and helpful work ethic. Great personalities and thoughtful. Our family feels protected and satisfied with the work Curran Law does. Thank you all.
james walker
May 31, 2022.
The entire Curran Estate and Elder Law team is fabulous! They are so kind, caring and patient. Not like your typical lawyers. Highly recommend them to help navigate the complex elder law and Medicare system.
Nancy Panza
May 10, 2022.
Suffering the loss of a loved one and having to deal with the probate process can be overwhelming. Gina was very professional and compassionate while helpng me through the process. What was becoming a nightmare for me was completely and quickly resolved. Everyone I came in contact with in the office was very kind and helpful.
Joanne Malys
May 5, 2021.
Sean deserves 10 stars ! But I can only give him 5 stars! He is caring & honest.. I am from out of state, and I needed help with elder care law concerning a family member. Sean returned all my phone calls and emails in a timely fashion. His prices were reasonable. I'd recommend Curran Estate & Elder Law to anyone who needs elder law services!
Ed K
March 18, 2021.
Extremely compassionate, knowledgeable and understanding during an extremely stressful, life changing event. Thank you for your patience and support.
March 8, 2020.
Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC

1212 Liggett Ave.
Reading, PA 19611

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