Allison Park Trusts and Estate Lawyers Deliver Sound Insight

Pennsylvania attorneys help to preserve and transfer assets

Regardless of your financial position, trusts can be a key element in your overall estate plan. At Abernethy & Hagerman, LLC in Allison Park, we develop trusts and other legal instruments to accomplish the goals of our Western Pennsylvania clients. Whether you’re looking to transfer your assets outside of the formal probate system, wish to establish a funding mechanism for a special needs child or minimize estate and inheritance taxes, our attorneys are here for you.

Skillful attorneys advocate for parties during trust disputes

We handle disputes over trust administration issues such as:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty — If there is an allegation that the trustee is co-mingling funds, not following the terms of the trust or otherwise violating their fiduciary duty, we provide honest counsel on whether the claim has any merit.
  • Misinterpretation of trust provisions — Inexact language in a trust can lead to serious conflicts about how assets should be distributed.
  • Validity of the trust — Some purported beneficiaries might allege that the trust itself is not valid because it is the result of undue influence, fraud or mistake.

Typically, it is in the parties’ best interests to resolve trust disputes through effective negotiation, rather than engaging in time-consuming, costly litigation. Our firm works diligently to reach a proper resolution as promptly as possible, but is always ready to advocate for clients in court if necessary.

Creating a living trust

For many people, a living trust is a straightforward estate planning instrument that accomplishes their goals. Instead of forcing their intended beneficiaries to wait through a potentially extensive process, people who establish living trusts pass assets on at their death outside of the probate system. To accomplish this, an individual places their property in a revocable trust that allows them to retain access to their assets throughout their life. At any point, you can change the trust’s terms, or dissolve altogether.

Knowledgeable legal advisers draft comprehensive wills

Our attorneys have extensive experience with wills and probate matters. We rely on the knowledge we’ve gained to draft enforceable testamentary documents that clearly detail how property should be allocated. By working with a dedicated trusts and estates attorney, you can be sure that your will fits with other parts of your overall estate planning strategy.

How a living will helps individuals control end-of-life decisions

You might have strong beliefs about whether extraordinary measures should be used to prolong your life if your condition is terminal. However, without a proper living will in place, your wishes might not be followed if you are incapacitated. By establishing an enforceable living will, you keep control over end-of-life care even when you are unable to communicate your preferences. Whatever stage of life you’re at, we can help you create a simple document that clearly instructs doctors regarding the steps you want taken.

Dedicated advocates guide clients on probate issues and will contests

Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s property is legally distributed according to the terms set forth in their will, or by the state’s intestacy laws if no will exists. For most Pennsylvania estates, wills are validated and enforced in Orphans’ Court, but there is a simplified system available for smaller estates. Whether you have been named as an executor of someone’s will or are a beneficiary who has questions about how an estate is being settled, our firm offers practical advice regarding probate and the best methods of insuring that someone’s final instructions are followed.

Contact a resourceful Pennsylvania trusts and estates attorney   

The trusts and estates attorneys at Abernethy & Hagerman, LLC in Allison Park provide sound counsel on the creation and administration of wills, trusts and other estate planning instruments. Please call 412-281-8222 or contact us online for a consultation. 

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