Employing The Right Estate Planning Tools

Attorney Kathleen Schneider and the staff at the Law Offices of Kathleen D. Schneider have broad financial expertise and the legal experience to help you implement your estate planning goals using instruments such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney. Taking time to address matters now that may deeply affect your partner or your family tomorrow is a prudent and caring step and discourages conflict among your heirs.

To learn more about wills, trusts and other estate planning tools, call 412-342-8577 to schedule a free consultation at our Pittsburgh office.


A will is the most basic element of any estate plan, but it should be written to reflect your individual goals and must meet the legal requirements of the Pennsylvania probate process. Your will can accomplish many things such as:

  • Name executors and trustees of your estate.
  • Specify how you want certain assets divided.
  • Designate beneficiaries.
  • Include a trust, if appropriate, for your situation and planning needs.


Although a will is necessary, it does not always fully accomplish someone’s goals. If it is in your best interests, we will work with you to create additional documents, such as trusts, to define how money, investments, property and other assets are managed before and after your death, and who the beneficiaries could be.

Trusts can offer a number of advantages, depending on your situation. Irrevocable trusts can accomplish tax savings, for instance. Revocable trusts are able to be changed while you are still living. Special needs trusts can preserve assets for the care of a disabled dependent. Trusts are not appropriate for all situations, however. Our lawyers can analyze your situation and evaluate your goals to see what is right for you.

Powers Of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document that allows you to name someone who has the power to act in your place. This is critical in the event that you become unable to act on your own behalf, due to illness or travel, and it preserves order in your affairs.

Financial powers of attorney can be “durable” whereby it takes effect immediately, or “springing” where is takes effect only when you become incapacitated or unable to act.

Medical powers of attorney name an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf, should you be unable. They are frequently paired with a living will, which describes the types of health care directives you desire when you are expected to die within a short period of time.

Contact Us For A Custom Estate Plan

To discuss how we can help you accomplish your estate planning objectives, call our Allegheny County office at 412-342-8577, or contact us online to schedule your free initial case consultation.