Wiener and Wiener LLP
With Offices In Allentown And West Palm Beach, We Serve Throughout Eastern Pennsylvania And Florida

Lehigh County Estate Administration Blog

3 things to do if there is no will after a person's death

Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult in itself, but it can be complicated when they don't leave a will behind. Wills are essential to protecting what your parent has accumulated over the year in terms of assets and to give guidance on what your loved one wants to see happen following their death.

If you don't think that your mom or dad had a will before they passed away, it's important to take a few steps to protect the estate. Here's more on what to do next.

Think carefully before you contest a loved one's will

Many people count on their loved one to have an estate plan in place when the loved one passes away. There are some instances in which there is an estate plan in place, but there are problems with it. Some people might realize that there is a reason to challenge the will. This is a very involved process, so it must be considered carefully before anything is done. Unfortunately, you don't have much time to think about this since contesting a will is a time-sensitive matter.

Ensure that you understand some basic points about contesting a will so that you can make an informed decision. There are many more aspects of these cases than just the legal ones.

How to ensure your pets are cared for after you die

A comprehensive estate plan is critical for everyone, but some people may not realize that they need one. People with pets need to ensure that their pets are cared for. Loved ones left behind may not care for the animals in the way you would have liked. In some cases, animals are euthanized due to a lack of planning.

Your estate plan can outline a plan for your beloved pets. You need to think carefully about how you handle this matter because there are a few interesting points to think about.

Avoiding probate court is a goal of many estate plans

One of the primary goals of estate planning is bypassing the probate process. This is a big consideration since probate can take time and money. For most people who are working out an estate plan, it's important to get their loved ones as much as possible and as quickly as they can.

There are many facets of the probate process that are mystifying to people who have never gone through it It is a good idea for all adults to have an understanding of at least the basics so that they know what to expect if they ever face this type of situation.

Tax Exempt Entity Filing

Tax Exempt organizations are reminded of the requirement to file their annual information returns by May 15, 2018, or risk having their federal tax-exempt status revoked. Many small organizations can file Form 990-n (the e-postcard) to meet their annual filing requirement.

IRS has cautioned tax-exempts not to include Social Security numbers or other unneeded personal information on their Form 990 and to file electronically when possible.

3 estate planning mistakes you should avoid making

Estate planning is a serious matter that some people try to put off as long as they can. This can be a huge mistake because you never know when you will reach your final day. Taking the time to plan now can help you to feel more at ease, as well as helping your loved ones to feel less stressed.

When you are creating your estate plan, you need to make sure that you aren't making mistakes that could be costly down the road. An estate plan that isn't handled properly could be considered invalid. It might be challenged by someone when you pass away. This could lead to more expenses for your loved ones, as well as taking up their time. Here are some mistakes you should avoid:

Understand the roles of an estate executor

A person who is named an estate executor has a considerable amount of work to do. This job isn't always easy, but it is usually considered a great honor. Understanding the role of the executor can help people creating an estate plan to name one and it can help people who are given this responsibility an idea of what is to come.

Here are some points to know about the duties of an estate executor:

Federal Estate Tax Portability Election

Time is running out for the extension to make portability election by surviving spouses of individuals who died after 2010. So far the IRS has been extremely lenient in allowing taxpayers relief for failing to timely make the required election to save any unused exclusion. For couples with assets of $11 million dollars the election could save their heirs over $2 million dollars.

Challenging the will is something that can occur during probate

There are many things that you will have to deal with when your loved one dies. If he or she has an estate plan, you might have to deal with the probate process. This process is one that can be quick and easy, but there are times when it is long and drawn-out.

One thing that can have an impact on how the probate process plays out is whether there are any issues with the will. This is something that you might not be able to determine until the time to handle it comes. Here are some points to know about the will during the probate process:


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