Estate planning is an often-neglected task. However, a properly planned estate will ensure your wishes are administered appropriately upon your death. Your heirs may benefit from reduced taxes and court costs.

Attorney Mary Ann Kenny Pidgeon and the team at Pidgeon & Pidgeon, P.C. offers the expertise necessary to minimize taxation of your estate, establish trusts, reduce the costs of estate administration, and plan your estate to ensure adequate liquidity.

Mary Ann, does everyone need a Will? Most people should have a Will. Clients may also benefit from other forms of planning, such as by having a power of attorney, living will, or irrevocable life insurance trust.

What if someone dies without a Will?

If you die without a Will, your estate will be administered in accordance with state law. This will determine who has the right to act as the administrator of your estate, the guardians of your children, what procedures must be followed, and who will be the beneficiaries of your estate.

This will most likely make the administration of your estate more difficult and costly, and it may result in your estate being distributed contrary to the way you would want.

How can someone ensure his or her wishes are adhered to?

Properly drafted and executed documents are essential. Our clients receive a book containing copies of all key documents including the Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, health care directives, and other instructions. We direct our clients to let their loved ones know where this book can be found. Such a volume is a godsend to families, providing parents the opportunity to communicate their wishes beforehand. The element of surprise is taken out of the equation. The risk of litigation is minimized when the family is well aware of what steps have been taken for the smooth transition of wealth, both during life and at death. And if a client passes away, we are always available to his or her family to help provide documents or answer questions.

Why call Pidgeon & Pidgeon for your estate planning or estate administration needs?

Having the best team handle your affairs is the key to a successful estate plan. Pidgeon & Pidgeon offers highly skilled attorneys and paralegals. The firm focuses on handling one of life’s most personal moments with respect and care. The team of paralegals makes sure clients are kept up to date on real estate issues, accounting, and tax matters. The team continuously follows up to ensure that subsequent life events do not conflict with existing planning.

One of the greatest fears for parents is dissension among family members when wealth is transferred. Careful planning helps avoid future conflict. But should conflict become inevitable, my son, attorney Michael T. Pidgeon, is a skilled litigator at our firm. He manages clients’ stress with the same sympathy and sensitivity that are indicative of the entire practice.

A native of Pittsburgh, Ms. Pidgeon came to Princeton in 1977. For many years she was a deputy attorney general in the state’s Appellate Division and later served as the head of the state’s Victim/Witness program. As her family grew she chose private practice, opening her offices in 1981, eventually creating Pidgeon & Pidgeon with her husband, John R. Pidgeon, in 1986.

The firm is local to the Princeton area, reinforcing the strong local roots that the practice has established. The firm’s longevity in the region is a testament to the sincere commitment to client needs that is the hallmark of Pidgeon & Pidgeon, P.C.

Pidgeon & Pidgeon, P.C., 600 Alexander Road, Princeton. 609-520-1010, www.pidgeonlaw.com

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