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Wills Attorneys in Berks County, PA

A will is a critical document in any estate plan. This legally-binding document is vital for preserving assets and achieving many other family and financial objectives. However, the process of drafting and executing a will is not as straightforward as it may seem. That is why you’ll need a skilled wills attorney to help you draft a customized estate plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.  

If you need assistance with preparing a will or resolving disputes that may arise when executing or probating a will, our attorneys at Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC, can help. Our wills attorneys based in Berks County, PA, are dedicated to providing competent and reliable representation to clients throughout Berks County and surrounding counties.

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Overview of Wills  

A will is a valuable estate planning document that allows you to explain how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. With a will, which is also known as a last will and testament, you can provide instructions for distributing your real property, financial assets, and belongings after you pass away.  

There are several types of wills that can be used to accomplish different objectives. Common types of wills include: 

Testamentary wills. This is the traditional will, also known as a simple will, which outlines what should happen to your assets after the testator’s death. These wills are prepared in advance during the testator’s lifetime and signed in the presence of witnesses to be valid.  

Holographic wills. These wills are documents written by hand. However, not all states recognize handwritten wills as valid, except when written in emergency situations as a last resort.  

Oral wills. Orals wills are wills that are made verbally but not written out. However, most states, including Pennsylvania, do not recognize oral wills as valid.  

Mutual wills. A mutual will is made by at least two people (most often by spouses) and represents two separate documents that are largely the same in content.  

Pour-over wills. A pour-over will is a document that ensures that your assets are automatically transferred to your trust when you die.  

A typical will covers the following elements:  

  1. The distribution of assets. You can provide detailed instructions to ensure that your assets are distributed to the intended beneficiaries according to your wishes.  
  2. Naming the executor. In a last will and testament, you can name the executor of your estate. The executor will represent your estate during probate after your death.  
  3. Guardianship. If you have minor children, you can use your will to name a guardian who would take care of your children in the event of your passing.  

Everyone’s life is unique, which is why what to include in a will depends on your financial situation, family dynamics, and other circumstances. At Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC, our wills attorneys help clients in Berks County and throughout the state of Pennsylvania draft a will tailored to their specific goals and needs. We strongly believe that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to creating a will. That is why our estate planning attorneys are focused on providing personalized solutions to every client.  

Why Having a Will Is Important  

Having a will is important for a wide range of reasons. Some of the reasons why it is crucial to draft a last will and testament include: 

  • Simplify the probate process. While having a will does not necessarily avoid probate, it can simplify the process.   
  • Ensure that your assets go to the right people. If you die without a will, which is known as “dying intestate,” your assets will be distributed to your heirs according to your state’s intestate succession laws.  
  • Make sure that someone you trust will take care of your kids. A will allows you to assign a guardian for your children. Thus, having a will gives you peace of mind knowing that someone you trust will care for your children if something happens to you.  
  • Save your loved ones money and prevent conflicts. If you die with a will, you can save your loved ones significant expense and prevent unnecessary conflicts and disputes over who should inherit what.  

Anyone can benefit from creating a will, regardless of their age, marital status, health, or wealth. If you are ready to get started, it is important that you seek legal counsel before creating any legal documents. An experienced wills attorney will help you draft a comprehensive and enforceable will that meets your unique needs.  

Difference Between a Will and a Trust  

Because wills and trusts perform a similar function—they name beneficiaries for your property— these two estate planning tools serve different specific purposes. Some of the key differences between a will and a trust include: 

  • Wills go through probate, while assets held in a trust do not have to be probated 
  • Trusts become effective immediately, while wills do not go into effect until after the testator’s death 
  • Will proceedings are public record, while trust proceedings are confidential 
  • Trusts might require more upkeep and maintenance than wills  

If you cannot decide if you should create a will or a trust, speak with a knowledgeable estate planning to understand your options. However, just because a will and a trust are different does not necessarily mean you have to choose only one. Instead, a will and a trust can complement each other to make a comprehensive estate plan.

wills

Wills Attorneys Serving Reading, Pennsylvania  

Planning for your future can be intimidating and overwhelming. That is why you’ll need the assistance of an experienced attorney to tackle estate planning. We pride ourselves on our ability to serve clients’ estate planning needs in a personal and individualized manner. If you need help creating a will in Berks County, PA, contact our wills attorneys at Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC.

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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.
M M
March 8, 2020.
Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC

1212 Liggett Ave.
Reading, PA 19611

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