ESTATE PLANNING • ESTATE AND TRUST ADMINISTRATION
• ASSET PROTECTION • PROBATE • ESTATE LITIGATION

WE SIMPLIFY ESTATE AND TRUST ADMINISTRATION

Estate administration (probate) can be a long and difficult process. Our experienced staff will guide you through the process smoothly and efficiently, keeping you informed every step of the way. Our offices are conveniently located within a block of the Allegheny County Orphans Court, which handles decedent’s estates.

Our firm has performed estate planning and estate and trust administration for well over 50 years. Our wills and trust lawyers serve clients throughout Pennsylvania. Partner Charles Foerster also maintains an office in San Luis Obispo County, California.

GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE

Our experienced attorneys are diligent and persistent in collecting and preserving estate assets while minimizing taxes. In addition to representing executors and administrators of estates and trustees of trusts, we represent beneficiaries of trusts and estates who are seeking their fair share of assets. This representation includes estate litigation, whenever this becomes necessary.

We have successfully represented parties with claims against estates -- as well as representing estates. For example, we successfully defended a sole benficiary of a will against the claims of those not in the will.

A THOROUGH APPROACH TO YOUR FUTURE

Estate planning is the efficient transfer of wealth — during life or at death — to the intended beneficiaries, with the minimum amount of delay, expenses, and taxes. Weisel, Xides & Foerster applies its considerable knowledge to create a legally sound estate plan tailored to each family’s needs.

WHAT SHOULD MY ESTATE PLAN CONTAIN?

Our Pittsburgh estate attorneys take a comprehensive approach to estate planning. We discuss your assets, your plans for future care, and your goals for passing assets to family at death or incapacity. Our estate practice tailors each estate plan to the needs of the testator (the person passing assets by will) as well as the beneficiaries (those receiving assets.)

THE BASIC DOCUMENTS

The basic documents of estate planning are these:

  • Will - Any document that passes property to another at death.
  • Power of attorney — A document naming designated persons (family or friends) who will make decisions on your behalf regarding financial matters and medical issues, if you are not able.
  • Advance Directive for Health Care — A “living will” that spells out medical intervention for critical care or end-of-life care.

Our estate planning attorneys rely on decades of experience to produce sound, comprehensive estate planning documents.

REVOCABLE AND IRREVOVABLE TRUSTS

These are documents which separate the ownership of property from its use and enjoyment. Trusts can be revocable - that is, they can be changed by the trustor (the person setting up the trust) - or irrevocable - the trust terms cannot be changed. We use them for such purposes as avoiding probate, reducing inheritance taxes, and for the special needs of the beneficiary.

ASSET PROTECTION

Asset protection is the use of legal documents to protect an individual's assets from the claims of creditors. We acheive this through such devices as entireties property (joint ownership by husband and wife), limited liability companies and partnerships, corporations and irrevocable trusts.

BUSINESS SUCCESSION

Business Succession is the process of passing ownership of a family business from one generation to the next. The majority of family businesses do not last for more than one generation. Our attorneys employ such devices as family limited partnerships and buy-sell agreements to insure seamless transfer of business ownership to succeeding generations.

CALL FOR CONSULTATION

We realize that every estate situation is unique; and that even the best forms and procedures must be tailored to a client's unique situation. For this reason, all of our attroneys are available for an intial consultation at no charge. Call any of our attorneys at 412-421-4128.