Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Wills and Trusts:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you prepare my will?
Yes. At Spivak Law Firm, we handle all aspects of estate planning, including: wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. To schedule an appointment, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is a will?
A will is an important legal document that directs how your assets will be distributed after you have deceased. It names at least one person to manage your estate and provide for the transfer of your property. To create a will, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Isn’t a will just for older people?
No. A will is important for adults of all ages. For example, if you have a minor child, your will names the legal guardians responsible for raising the children if both parents suddenly died. Your will also names the people in charge of managing and distributing your assets on your child’s behalf. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Can I write my own will?
Yes, but we do not recommend it. There are many do-it-yourself computer programs and books that make preparing a will seem easy. But such a will may not comply with Pennsylvania law. The best way to ensure that your wishes are followed after your death is to seek counsel from a wills and estates attorney. To speak with a wills and estates attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What happens if there is no will?
Intestacy is the legal term for a person who dies without leaving a will. When this occurs, the person’s assets are distributed to family members most closely related to the decedent. These include the spouse and children, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, then other relatives more distantly related. If there are no qualifying heirs, the estate goes to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is an estate?
An estate consists of all the property, assets, and liabilities of a person who has deceased. This may include houses, furniture, personal belongings, retirement accounts, stocks, mutual funds, bank accounts, and more. To have an attorney review your estate, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What are some goals of estate planning?
At Spivak Law Firm, we customize an estate plan to meet your individual goals. Some goals of estate planning may include: ensuring that your estate goes to your intended loved ones and beneficiaries; paying as little as possible on inheritance and death taxes; and minimizing or avoiding the probate process. To discuss your estate planning goals, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of filing a will with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you die without a will, probate will have the state choose an administrator to handle your estate. Probate for people residing in Pennsylvania at the time of their death takes place with the Register of Wills office in the county where the person had their last principal residence. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Why should I avoid probate?
There are many reasons to avoid probate. First, the probate process is open to the public. Under probate, your estate plan and the value of your estate are available for public scrutiny. Second, the probate process causes your heirs to incur higher costs and fees. Third, the probate process can be slow and may result in the delayed disbursement of your assets. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is a medical power of attorney?
A medical power of attorney allows another person to authorize medical and surgical procedures on your behalf. It may also authorize your admission to a medical facility or nursing home. To create a medical power of attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What are some purposes of a trust?
At Spivak Law Firm, we customize trust plans to meet your individual goals. Some goals of trusts may include: reducing your taxes; saving on administrative fees; providing for your heirs; and providing for someone who is disabled while preserving their eligibility to receive public benefits. To discuss your trust planning goals, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is a special needs trust?
A special needs trust allows disabled persons to receive an inheritance while preserving their right to governmental aid. For instance, disabled persons who receive Social Security Disability or Medical Assistance may risk losing these important benefits if they inherit a house or significant sum of money. By setting up a special needs trust for the inheritance, they are able to keep receiving the governmental benefits they need and deserve. To set up a special needs trust, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Contact Our Pittsburgh Law Firm Today

To schedule an appointment, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390. Our Pittsburgh office is open during normal business hours, as well as evenings and weekends by appointment.

Spivak Law Firm routinely accepts cases in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.