Jump to Navigation

MyPhillyLawyer Blog

How Having a Will Protects You and Your Family

If something should happen to you, is your family protected? Do you have adequate life insurance coverage? And perhaps most importantly, do you have a will that states how your assets should be distributed and a living will that provides information about the kinds of medical treatment you wish to receive if the need arises?

For every family, these decisions and the planning they require are critical and immensely helpful if something should happen to you or your spouse. That’s why every family should take some time to talk about these issues ahead of time, before any kinds of serious health crises or accidents might occur.

So how does a will differ from a living will?

This photo shows an example of a Last Will and Testament which has been prepared for a client. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/eric1513.

A will provides detailed, written instructions about who will receive your assets in the event of your death.  If you don’t leave your own instructions but you die owning assets, a legal framework exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that distributes your assets without regard to your personal wishes essentially through a “pecking order” for everyone from spouses to children to other relatives who might make a claim.  Many times if someone doesn’t leave a will and dies, then their assets can be awarded by the court to relatives who they might not have included in a will. If you don’t want to leave your assets to be distributed by default, having a will should be something that is on your immediate “to do” list.

A will names an executor who will ensure that your assets are distributed as you see fit. A named executor should be a friend, a relative or somebody who you have confidence in who will follow the instructions in the will document.

Your will safeguards the assets you’ve accumulated over your lifetime and declares who your beneficiaries are, while controlling the distribution of the money to your children who might be under 18 years of age. You can indicate at what age intervals a portion of the trust principal should be distributed to them and you can describe under what circumstances the accumulated interest of the estate should be distributed.

A living will is different, but just as important. In Pennsylvania, the living will, which is also called a Health Directive, sets out your detailed health care wishes that would be followed in the event that you become incapacitated and can’t verbalize your wishes for medical treatment. It details your specific wishes about resuscitation, feeding tubes and other medical procedures that might be required to continue your life if you should become severely injured, removing your family from having to make these kinds of painful and difficult decisions.

With the help of a lawyer, any individual can create a will and a living will relatively easily. A simple will can be prepared by an attorney starting at $250 and go up depending on how complicated it is and whether there are trust provisions, marital trusts and other factors.  Once created, it should then be amended as needed from time to time as your life situation changes through marriage, the birth of children and other factors. By having a will in the first place, it is much easier to change it as situations change over the years.

People can even prepare a will using a kit they can buy in a store or online using standardized forms from a number of websites which can then be printed, witnessed and put away for safekeeping. The benefit of going to an attorney, however, is that you then have a professional to help you and answer your questions and concerns in detail while providing personalized service with some of the most important legal documents in the lives of you and your family.

The completed wills can be kept by your attorney or kept in a safe place such as a home safe or a safe deposit box. If a death occurs, your attorney can then assist you and lead your family through the probate process, which distributes the assets that are set forth in the documents.

Having these documents can help a family avoid contentious and bitter legal fights involving the death of a loved one when no will exists. A will document is essentially part of one’s own housekeeping and is a critical part of organizing your estate for when you are gone. By creating a will, you have reduced your wishes to writing and spelled out how your assets are to be distributed and to whom.

Certainly, death and wills are not pleasant subjects to talk about, but if you don’t deal with these issues, you end up leaving these important decisions up to the courts and the laws of your state.  It’s certainly better to have a will that will properly fulfill your wishes and directions in the event of your loss, rather than leaving it up to the courts.

When you are ready to protect yourself and your family, go to a qualified and compassionate attorney who can draft the legal documents that will make these situations less stressful for everyone.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer would be honored to assist you with the creation and maintenance of these crucial documents, as well as with trusts, estates and other family related legal filings. We are also here to assist our clients when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. It is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award to ensure that you and your family receives every penny in damages that you are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

$155K Settlement in Death of Car Passenger Killed in Crash with Train

The estate of an 81-year-old grandmother who died when the car she was riding in was struck by a train almost four years ago in Orangeburg, S.C., will receive a $155,000 combined settlement from the Norfolk Southern railroad and the state Department of Transportation.

The settlement was reached in the May 13, 2011, crash that killed Susan Weatherford while she was being driven in a car by her grandson, Jeremy Weatherford, not far from his home, according to a March 16 report by WIS-TV Channel 10 of Columbia, S.C.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/creatingmore

As Jeremy Weatherford drove the car toward his house, he turned a corner and then swerved to avoid a car that was stopped at a railroad crossing at Sellers Avenue, according to the report. “The near-miss sent Weatherford’s car onto the tracks,” where it’s wheels became stuck just before the vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by an approaching train, the story stated. The car was pushed some 80 yards down the train tracks before it came to a stop.

Susan Weatherford was ejected from the car during the collision, while her grandson was able to get out of the vehicle. Driver error was cited by police as the main cause of the crash, but no criminal charges were filed, the story reported.

“The lawsuit contended that both the railroad and the state knew the grade crossing was dangerous but took no action to correct the problem,” the story concluded.

Norfolk Southern is paying $95,000 under the terms of the settlement, while the South Carolina Department of Transportation is paying $60,000, the story reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

$25M Fine Paid by Johnson & Johnson in Children’s Tylenol Case

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

Consumer products company Johnson & Johnson has pleaded guilty and will pay a $25 million fine for failing to maintain safe manufacturing processes in the production of Infants’ and Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin liquids from 2009 to 2010 at a manufacturing plant in Fort Washington in Montgomery County, Pa.

The fine and the guilty plea were announced on March 10 in federal court in Philadelphia, where the company was rebuked for failing to quickly take corrective action after small metal particles were found to have contaminated bottles of the medicines, according to a story in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The plea came after metal particles, including nickel and chromium, were found in children’s liquid medicine made at the McNeil Consumer Healthcare plant in Fort Washington from May 2009 through April 2010, the story reported. The fine was calculated as a percentage of the sales of those products during that time period, according to the paper. McNeil is a division of Johnson & Johnson.

“Prosecutors said McNeil knew about the problem for nearly a year but failed to take immediate steps to fix it,” according to a March 10 report by The Associated Press.

In a statement, acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer called McNeil’s failure to comply with current good manufacturing practices “seriously troubling,” the Inquirer reported.

The case unfurled in early May 2009 when a customer reported to McNeil that they had found “black specks” in the liquid on the bottom of a bottle of Infants’ Tylenol, according to documents filed in the case, the story reported. The customer returned the bottle to McNeil to provide evidence of the problem.

Some 30 batches of the medicines were found to have metal in them by April 2010, the story reported. The particles were later was found to be from a machine part that was “a composite metal that is mostly nickel, but also includes tin, iron, bismuth and chromium.”

No children were reported to have been injured by the metal particles, according to the company.

McNeil halted the production of the affected medicines five days after finding tainted medicine on its production lines in April 2010, and finally issued a recall notice at the end of that month, the story reported.

McNeil’s Fort Washington plant has not been producing medicine since the production lines were halted back in 2010. The plant cannot reopen until the company proves to the government that improvements have been made and that no more faulty medicines can be produced, the story reported.

Product liability, injury cases, vehicle crashes and property losses of all kinds occur every day involving innocent victims who are hurt or killed through no fault of their own due to the actions or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a product liability case or any other legal situation anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

$1.48M Verdict in Death of Woman in Monroe County Multi-Vehicle Crash

The family of a 37-year-old East Stroudsburg woman who was killed in a multi-vehicle crash as she drove her car south on Route 33 near Saylorsburg in March 2009 has been awarded a $1.48 million verdict by a Monroe County jury.

Jennifer L. Holzmacher-Klein died in the crash when her 2000 Hyundai Elantra was struck head-on by a Subaru Forester being driven northbound on the highway by Jigai Wang, according to a March 3 story in The Legal Intelligencer.  The Subaru struck the victim’s Hyundai a second time, and then pushed it into a nearby 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and then into a 2003 Hyundai Sonata that also became involved in the crash, the story reported. The Jeep was being driven by Alan S. Heald, while the Sonata was being driven by Lorraine Johnstone.

Stock image of an ambulance responding to a crash on a highway. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

The lawsuit was filed by Holzmacher-Klein’s  husband, Roger J. Klein, and the victim’s son, Kamden Holzmacher, alleging negligence by the other three drivers who were involved in the crash. Heald and Johnstone settled their cases with the plaintiffs for a combined $215,000 prior to verdict, the story reported.

“According to the plaintiffs’ memo, Wang was ‘clearly careless,’” the story reported.

The victim, Holzmacher-Klein, died at the scene following the 6:25 a.m. crash, according to a March 24, 2009 story in The Pocono Record. Route 33 South was closed for about five hours between the Saylorsburg and Wind Gap exits after the incident.

Driving conditions were clear on the day of the crash and Wang was operating her Subaru below the speed limit, according to The Legal Intelligencer report. Testimony was heard that a “tractor-trailer to the right of Wang’s vehicle began moving to the left, which prompted Wang to steer to her left to avoid being hit by the truck.”

That action then resulted in Wang’s Subaru crossing the unprotected, narrow grass median into the oncoming southbound lanes and crashing into Holzmacher-Klein’s car, the story reported. The victim was employed as a patient coordinator at the Lehigh Valley Center for Sight.

The verdict was reached in two hours by the jury after a three-day trial. The plaintiffs were awarded $1.07 million in net earning capacity over Holzmacher-Klein’s lifetime, $165,000 in contributions for support of family, and $250,000 in loss of services, The Legal Intelligencer reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

$1.3M Settlement to Family of Motorcyclist Killed By School Bus

The family of a 24-year-old Connecticut motorcyclist has reached a $1.3 million settlement with a school bus company after one of the company’s buses collided head-on with the motorcyclist in September 2012 in New Milford, Conn., killing him.

The motorcyclist, Travis Lipton, 25, of New Milford, Conn., was killed on Sept. 24, 2012, after his Suzuki motorcycle smashed into a school bus owned by All-Star Transportation, according to a Feb. 9 story by The (Danbury, Conn.) News-Times newspaper. Lipton was riding his Suzuki westbound on Pickett District Road when he and his motorcycle collided with the eastbound school bus driven by bus company driver Alicia Gardos, the report continued.

The school bus was making a left turn into a parking lot near a school when the crash occurred.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/sshepherd

Lipton’s family filed a civil lawsuit against All-Star Transportation and the bus driver, Gardos, one year after the crash, alleging that his death was caused by the bus driver’s carelessness and negligence, the story continued. Lipton was “violently hurled to the pavement, causing him to sustain and suffer massive head trauma, multiple fractures to both legs; and fractured left arm,” according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of Lipton’s family.

Gardos no longer works for the school bus company, the story reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

$12.9M Settlement in Truck Crash That Killed a 46-Year-Old Woman

A $12.89 million wrongful death settlement has been reached in the case of a 46-year-old Indiana woman who was killed in September 2011 when the car she was riding in was struck by an overhanging load from a tractor-trailer in the dark of night.

The woman, Pamela Beemer, of Elkhart, Indiana, was a passenger in a Lincoln Town Car being driven by Ernest D. Sailor, 87, when a tractor-trailer hauling an oversized load – a large part from a windmill tower – collided with the car on Sept. 16, 2011, according to a Feb. 17 story in The Goshen (Indiana) News. The crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. on a dark road when the Lincoln struck a part of the windmill that was overhanging in the car’s lane in the darkness, killing Beemer and two other passengers in the car, the story reported.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/Svenler

After the car hit the overhanging windmill component, which was hanging some two feet into the car’s traffic lane, the Lincoln spun around from the impact and then was struck by an escort pickup truck that was accompanying the tractor-trailer and its oversized load, the story reported.

The 87-year-old driver of the Lincoln, Ernest D. Sailor, survived the crash, as did Beemer’s husband, Robert C. Burg, 52, according to the story. Sailor’s 87-year-old wife, Maxine, and another woman, 85-year-old Virginia Miller, were also killed due to the crash.

Beemer’s husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit after the incident against the trucking company, it’s driver, the transportation broker that had arranged the moving of the windmill part and against the two escort drivers who were accompanying the rig, the story said. The lawsuit alleged that the trucking company, which was not named due to a confidentially agreement reached as part of the settlement, “had never hauled a wind tower and its employees were not trained to do so,” according to the report. “Also, the lawsuit alleges that the trailer being used was ‘homemade.’”

The suit also alleged that the driver was driving after dark, which violated state laws for oversized loads, and that the transportation broker “failed to notify the trucking company that a state police escort was required for the load.”

Beemer’s husband will receive the $12.89 million settlement for the loss of his wife.

Some $8 million of the settlement will come from the unnamed transportation broker, while $1.75 million will come from the trucking company and driver, according to a report from the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune. Another $1 million each will come from the shipper and operators of the front escort vehicle, while another $965,000 each will come from the operators of the two rear escort vehicles, the story reported. Another $175,000 will come from the owner of the semitrailer.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

100.3 WRNB 

Court Radio 

Presented by MyPhillyLawyer
Our Guarantee 

We Wont Get Paid Until You Get Paid

Motor Vehicle Accident Lawsuits

$6,750,000.00 - Brain injury from fall off of ATV while on vacation in Dominican Republic.

$2,000,000.00 - Tractor Trailer collision resulting in death of motorist.

Structured Settlements

$28,000,000.00 - Structured Settlement - Brain Damage injury with permanent cognitive dysfunction due to fall into unsecured swimming pool.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

$20,000,000.00 - Birth injury causing significant brain damage.

$3,500,000.00 - Failure to provide appropriate medical care in an emergency department leading to the death of 48 year old patient.

Premises Liability Lawsuits

$1,560,000.00 - Fall from scaffolding at construction site resulting in multiple fractures.

$450,000.00 - Injured arm, neck and back slipping on ice in parking lot.

Other Accident Injury Lawsuits

$500,000.00 - Death of a 79 year old woman due to abuse by home health care aide.

Testimonials

“You agreed to represent me for my automobile accident when other attorneys turned the case down. I was thrilled with the settlement you negotiated. I will tell all my family and friends about you.”

Read More
Verdicts & Settlements Read More
Representing Clients in and throughout Philadelphia

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., represent clients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the surrounding Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County, and cities such as Media, Doylestown, and Norristown. We are also proud to serve South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, in Camden County, New Jersey.

Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C. | Two Penn Center Plaza, | 1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 1410 | Philadelphia, PA 19102

Ph: 215-789-9346 | Toll Free: 866-920-0352 | Fax: 215-563-6617 | Philadelphia Law Office

Print This Page