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Estate Planning

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Five Tips Every Executor Must Know


Probate is an administrative legal process that takes place once someone passes.  The executor has an important role of juggling this process, as he or she is responsible for protecting the decedent’s assets, obtaining the death certificate, filing probate forms, and more.  It is the executor’s responsibility to ensure that the process is done properly and that the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.

The executor’s job usually spans over the course of a year, but the probate process could take longer in some circumstances.  Executors should be mindful that many administrative tasks include deadlines.
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families


Spouses in a first marriage generally have estate planning goals that are aligned because most of the time there are no children from prior relationships.  Typically, spouses in a first marriage own assets jointly and distribute assets upon death to the surviving spouse and then to the children equally.  This strategy does not work well for second marriages that result in a blended family where there are children from prior relationships. Your surviving spouse can do whatever he/she wants after your death, including disinheriting your children. Do you want your children’s inheritance to be gambled on whether you will outlive your spouse?

A second marriage is vastly different because it may include your children, your spouse’s children, and sometimes joint children.
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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Protecting Your Spouse with Estate Planning


My clients often tell me that protecting the financial well-being of their spouse is one of their most important planning objectives.  These clients are concerned with ensuring that sufficient assets go to their spouse and that their spouse has the experience to confidently manage these assets.  Proper estate planning can solve these issues and protect a surviving spouse.

Ensure Transfer of Assets to Your Surviving Spouse

In many states (including Pennsylvania), a surviving spouse may not automatically receive all the assets owned by a deceased spouse.  For assets that are jointly owned by both spouses, this is not usually an issue.
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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Estate Planning Is Not Only for the Wealthy


Everyone over 18 years old, despite whether they are married, have children, or have a large net worth, will benefit from preparing at least a basic estate plan.  You will want estate planning in place in case you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated, or unable to make these decisions or care for yourself due to various mental and physical issues.

There are a few basic documents that everyone needs.  A basic estate plan includes a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will.   The Will serves to designate beneficiaries for your property and name guardians for any minor children.
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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Estate Planning During the Coronavirus


The Coronavirus pandemic greatly impacts our lives in ways that many of us could have never imagined. Our daily activities have changed. Families are spending more time playing board games, watching movies, and talking to each other at the dinner table. Of course, we are adversely impacted by new stresses added to our lives due to the limitations on our ability to interact with friends, go to school, earn income, and move freely. During this difficult time, it is important to remember that we are all in this together, and the team at McClellan Legal is always here to assist you.


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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Naming Guardians for Minor Children


Who will care for your minor children if you cannot? For those with minor children, there is no more important estate planning decision than naming guardians for your children.  In fact, the birth of a child is one of the major life events that triggers my clients to begin estate planning.  A guardian is an adult that you designate in a Will to care for a child if both parents pass away before the child reaches the age of majority.  While it’s difficult to imagine that situation, it is important that parents designate a guardian because otherwise a court may choose your next of kin for this role, but that person may not be your first choice.

Quite often parents struggle to designate a guardian.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Five Things to Know When Disinheriting Someone


There are situations that arise when you decide to specifically disinherit someone.  My clients have mentioned several reasons to disinherit an individual, such as: an estranged relationship with the individual, the individual is financially irresponsible, the individual is already financially better off than other potential beneficiaries, and more.

Who Is Disinherited?

Who are the usual disinheriting targets?  There is no need to disinherit someone that wouldn’t naturally receive an inheritance at your death.  Disinheriting targets are those that stand to lose out if you move forward with a new Will.  Hence, are you changing the status quo?  In most situations, your spouse and children are your natural heirs.
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Friday, January 17, 2020

How the SECURE Act Impacts Your Retirement Planning


In late December, 2019, The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was signed into law and became effective in early January, 2020. The SECURE Act contains both benefits and drawbacks that may lead you to reconsider your retirement planning.

Advantages

The SECURE Act increases the forced withdrawal age from 70.5 to 72 years old. This means that you can wait an extra year and a half before taking out any money from your retirement accounts, unless you have reached age 70.
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Friday, January 17, 2020

Top Five Triggers for Updating Your Will in 2020


Many people neglect to occasionally review their estate planning documents after its execution. However, your Will should be updated when your personal circumstances change, which could happen at any time.  The passage of time in itself is not a trigger to change your Will.  Your Will is like your home: if properly maintained, your home will last a very long time.  Likewise, if properly updated, your Will can also have a greater longevity.
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Friday, November 22, 2019

Isn't Estate Planning Only For The Wealthy?


Many people believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy.  The fact is that everyone over 18 years old, despite whether they are married, have children, or have a large net worth, will benefit from preparing at least a basic estate plan.  You will want an estate plan in place in case you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated, or unable to make these decisions or care for yourself due to various mental and physical issues. If estate planning is beneficial for everyone, what is estate planning?

There are a few basic documents that everyone needs.  A basic estate plan includes a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will.
Read more . . .


Friday, November 22, 2019

Do Your Parents Have an Estate Plan?


Discussing estate planning can be difficult, or even avoided, due to the heaviness of the topic. Those who do speak with their parents regarding estate planning may get a simple answer in return, such as: "Don't worry, we took care of that years ago!"  or "It's all settled, there's no need to worry."  

However, it is important to understand children’s concern regarding their parents’ estate planning because a parent’s lack of planning will negatively impact their children. Typically, children are called upon to help their parents during their incapacity and to administer their estate.  Without proper estate planning, children will be burdened with unnecessary delays, costs, taxes, and stress.


Read more . . .


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McClellan Legal LLC is located in Kennett Square and serves clients throughout the areas of Avondale, Chadds Ford, Coatesville, Downingtown, Landenberg, Oxford, Phoenixville, Pottstown, West Chester, & West Grove.



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113 South Broad Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348
| Phone: 610-444-5552

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