Due to COVID-19, most court functions in the state have been suspended. In addition, our office is working remotely. For assistance, please email esr@mmzlaw.com with your contact information and the legal matter you need help with and someone will be in touch. If you are seeking help regarding a Will, Financial, or Health Care Power of Attorney, every effort will be made to respond as quickly as possible.

Things That You Need for Successful Estate Planning in PA

Living trust and estate planning form on a desk

Estate planning in Pennsylvania is a critical responsibility that goes beyond merely allocating assets—it is a strategic process designed to ensure your wishes are precisely executed, and your family’s future is securely protected. The stakes are high in the complex legal landscape of Pennsylvania, particularly for those residing in Lancaster and surrounding areas. Preparing to … Read more

What You Need to Know About Living Wills in PA

An image of a living will, with a stethoscope and a pen resting on the paper.

Living wills, also known as advanced directives, are legal documents that allow you to specify your healthcare preferences in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself in end-of-life situations. They are an essential tool in ensuring that your wishes regarding medical treatment are respected in the final stage of your lifetime, … Read more

Let Your Estate Planning Lawyer Help You Avoid These 7 Mistakes

An image of a paper that says “estate planning” with glasses and a pen on top of the paper.

Many people mistakenly believe they do not have to worry about their estate planning. After all, young, healthy individuals without much in the way of finances often think about establishing themselves more before they sit down and think about the end of their lives as older adults. Unfortunately there are many mistakes that this line … Read more

How Guardianship Works in Pennsylvania—and Why This Legal Process is Often a Last Resort

Gavel and striking block on law book with "Guardianship" title on wooden desk

This year, just about every news and media outlet has picked up the ongoing story of 39-year-old pop star Britney Spears, who has been living under a conservatorship—called guardianship in Pennsylvania and many other states—for well over a decade. While a ward, Ms. Spears released several albums, undertook a world tour performing her music, and … Read more

Guardianship Versus Power of Attorney Designations: What’s the Difference?

Older gentleman and daughter working on his estate plan with a lawyer

A little while ago, we published a post here on the blog as part of our Complete Guide to Estate Planning series covering all of the most vital estate planning documentation you need to consider.

High on that list of essential documents is a power of attorney (POA) designation—or perhaps more than one—allowing you to designate a specific trusted individual or individuals, like family members or other loved ones, to be in charge of your affairs or help you make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, and more.

Today’s post focuses a little bit more closely on why experienced probate and estate lawyers strongly recommend setting up POA designations as part of your estate plan to be fully prepared for all eventualities as you age. In the question of guardianship vs. POA, you want to avoid your family needing to seek guardianship.

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Does PA’s Filial Responsibility Law Require You Pay For Your Elderly Parents’ Nursing Care Bills?

Most parents intend to leave some inheritance to their children. However, a Pennsylvania law can also cause a parent to leave their children with significant debt. The law is commonly referred to as the filial responsibility law. This law requires spouses, children, and parents of indigent persons to care for and financially assist them. Contact May Herr … Read more

What Happens to Digital Assets at Death?

It’s getting harder to take your secrets to the grave.

Antonio Stradivari, Benjamin Franklin, and Nikola Tesla are all reported to have taken secrets to their graves. That would be much harder today if they stored their secrets on the cloud and accessed them through smart phones, tablets, or other devices. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently released a first-of-its-kind decision giving executors of an estate the authority to request the release of stored electronic communications from the internet service provider storing that information on its servers. The Pennsylvania legislature currently has a Senate Bill under review that formalizes this authority by statute.

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