We are delighted to announce that our physical office is re-opening to our existing and new clients. To provide safety to both our clients and staff, we are adapting the CDC guidelines for social distancing while we are in the yellow phase. Rest assured, that we have and will continue to regularly clean all areas of the office especially the high-traffic areas. All attorneys and staff will have their temperature taken daily and will be wearing masks when interacting with clients. Any attorneys and staff with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will work remotely. They will then be required to follow CDCrecommended steps, including not returning to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.

As the health and safety of our clients and their families is our top priority, we are asking that our clients follow the procedures below during the yellow phase:

  1. Upon entering the building, we ask that all persons wash their hands or hand-sanitize. We will be providing access to soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  2. We will also be taking temperatures with non-contact thermometers upon entering the office.
  3. Our office is set-up to comply with social distancing of six feet. In the conference and mediation rooms we are asking that each person sit a minimum of one chair apart from attorneys and/or staff at all times.
  4. Masks are available and will be provided open request.
  5. Teleconferences Zoom meetings, and FaceTime are available in lieu of inperson meetings if requested.
  6. We will continue to have the drop-box available for delivery of documents.

In the event that anyone is sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your appointment or utilize the electronic forums listed above.

As each county determines the procedures that will be followed, please ask your attorney of the specific procedures regarding the county in which your case in pending.

Please note that we will also continue to accommodate the needs of new clients, who are welcome, and as always we encourage and appreciate referrals. During this uncertain and unprecedented time, please stay safe and remember that Sweeney Law Office, LLC will remain by your side for all of your family’s legal needs. We ask that you have patience during this challenging time.

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DIY wills may not achieve your purposes

If you’re like a lot of people, you may have put off doing your important estate planning. It’s never pleasant to contemplate one’s mortality but it is necessary to make plans for what is to transpire at the end of your life and beyond.

Some Cranberry Township residents may try to save a few dollars with DIY estate-planning kits that are either free online or markedly less than one would pay an estate-planning attorney to draft. But what many people don’t realize, those DIY wills and other documents might not hold up in court or have the right elements included to make them valid.

But what if I only need a simple will drafted?

Those who have very few assets or resources to leave to their heirs after they pass on may be able to get away with using an online DIY will packet. But, even then, success is never guaranteed. Some may not contain the right formatting applicable for Pennsylvania or might contain typos or other misinformation that would make it harder or even impossible for your heirs and beneficiaries to proceed through probate with your estate.

Aren’t these sites staffed by attorneys?

Usually, DIY estate-planning sites have attorneys on staff in advisory capacities, but much of the daily work is handled by lower-level staffers who may be lucky to have paralegal certifications at best. Your ability to consult one-on-one with one of the site’s attorneys about a specific inheritance problem is likely to be nil.

How come my friend used one to write his will?

Rarely are people’s estate-planning circumstances exactly the same. What worked for your friend may or may not work for your own individual needs and those of your heirs. These simple DIY documents also stop far short of trusts, which could be helpful if you want your heirs to be able to avoid the probate process.

Learning more about the probate laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can bring clarity to your situation and help you make the right decision about your estate plan.

 

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