We Are Your Legal Team

Helping Clients With Estate Planning Needs

Creating an estate plan is a great way to put your mind at ease by protecting loved ones in the event of your death, illness or disability. At Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, we know that adequately protecting your loved ones involves in-depth knowledge of the law.

Our clients include a wide range of people from young families seeking to protect their children, just in case, to older retirees concerned about protecting their assets later in life. We use our legal knowledge and experience to help people navigate the estate planning process, no matter where you are in life. Contact our Bethlehem estate planning attorneys to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss how creating wills and trusts, powers of attorney and using a combination of these estate planning tools can be of benefit to you.

Explaining Your Estate Planning Options

A proper estate plan may include a will, a living trust, a financial power of attorney and a durable health care power of attorney, sometimes referred to as a living will. You may also need some supplemental documents to tie things all together. At Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC, we work closely with clients to create an estate plan that addresses a wide range of issues:

  • Whom do you trust to make medical and financial decisions?
  • To whom do you want to leave your assets?
  • Who should take care of your minor children?
  • When should your beneficiaries receive their inheritances?
  • How can I provide for my loved one who has special needs?

A will is a written document in which you direct how and to whom your property shall be distributed after your death. In your will, you name an executor (estate administrator) who is responsible for taking an inventory of your property, preserving your estate, paying creditors and taxes, and distributing the property to beneficiaries. You may also designate a guardian for minor children.

A power of attorney is a written document in which you authorize a person to act as your “agent,” usually a spouse or another family member. The agent is given broad powers to act on your behalf, including the ability to make decisions on financial and medical matters.

A durable health care power of attorney is a written document in which you declare whether you want certain types of life-sustaining treatment in the event you are unable to communicate with your doctor and in the event you are in an end-stage medical condition, that is, you have been diagnosed as terminally ill or are in a state of permanent unconsciousness. The document also allows your agent, or health care proxy, to make medical decisions for you if you are not in an end-stage medical condition, but are unable to make decisions on your own.

An Estate Planning Attorney Ready To Help You

To contact us regarding your estate planning concerns, call Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at 610-295-5328 or toll-free at 877-716-3631. We can also assist with your estate litigation and estate or trust administration needs, including representing clients in contested will actions. You may also complete our online contact form to arrange a confidential consultation with an experienced Easton lawyer to discuss how to avoid probate.