When you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of selecting a personal injury attorney or a medical malpractice lawyer, the barrage of lawyer advertisements on billboards, social media, and TV commercials can be overwhelming. Is a flashy ad promising swift justice the best way to search for a “personal injury lawyer near me” and find capable legal representation for your injury case? These advertisements, while eye-catching, often fail to reflect a lawyer’s true experience, skill, or success rate. Relying solely on a billboard or an ad can be deceptive and perhaps detrimental to your case. Therefore, taking matters into your own hands and conducting thorough research when selecting a medical malpractice or personal injury attorney is crucial.

Bigger is Not Always Better

One essential aspect to review is the size of the personal injury law firm you work with. While large mega-firms may seem impressive, smaller firms offer unique advantages that can significantly benefit your case. Smaller personal injury firms often provide a more personalized approach to legal representation, ensuring you are not just another case number in a sea of clients. Instead, you become a valued individual deserving of a strong focus on your personal injury case.

In smaller firms, it’s common for firm partners to be directly involved in evaluating your case and guiding its progress. This level of personal involvement ensures that your case receives the attention it deserves from experienced professionals deeply invested in its success. In a mega firm, your case may be passed off to junior associates or paralegals, while smaller firms prioritize quality over quantity. This assures that every client receives the highest level of legal representation.

Moreover, smaller firms can handle cases of all sizes, from minor accidents to complex medical malpractice claims. Their versatility and agility allow them to adapt to the unique needs of each case, providing tailored strategies and solutions to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients.

Tips for Selecting a Personal Injury Attorney 

Choosing the right attorney for your personal injury or medical error case requires careful consideration and research. Here are some essential tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Evaluate Experience and Expertise: Seek out attorneys who specialize in personal injury or medical malpractice cases and have a proven history of success. Review a medical malpractice attorney’s credentials, case history, and client endorsements to gauge their level of expertise and competence.
  2. Consider Communication and Accessibility: Effective communication and collaboration are crucial in any legal proceeding. Choose a personal injury attorney who is accessible, responsive, and prepared to keep you informed throughout the process. You should feel comfortable asking questions and vocalizing concerns.
  3. Assess Resources and Support Staff: Inquire about the resources and support staff available to assist with your case. A well-equipped medical malpractice law firm with experienced paralegals, investigators, and other professionals can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your legal representation.
  4. Discuss Fees and Payment Structure: Ask about fees and payment arrangements upfront to avoid any surprises later on. Some injury lawyers prefer a contingency fee agreement. This means they only get paid if they settle or win your case and there is a monetary recovery. Other attorneys may require upfront retainer fees. Make sure you understand the terms of engagement before proceeding.
  5. Trust Your Instincts: Choose a personal injury lawyer who provides you with a sense of confidence and support throughout the legal process. Your personal injury attorney should be your advocate and ally, fighting tirelessly on your behalf to achieve the justice and compensation you deserve.

Benefits of Working with the Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen Personal Injury Firm

Working with the DKY Personal Injury Firm offers many benefits that larger firms often struggle to match. The personal injury attorneys at Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen have the experience and flexibility to handle the most complex medical malpractice claims, ensuring that every client receives individualized attention and dedicated support. The accomplished team of DKY injury lawyers achieves maximum results, leveraging their years of experience and know-how to secure favorable outcomes. DKY personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers prioritize maintaining a stellar reputation within the legal community, earning respect from judges, fellow attorneys, and insurance companies. This reputation for excellence enhances their credibility and serves as a valuable source of referrals, demonstrating a dedication to delivering outstanding service and achieving justice for their clients.

Select the Most Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

While billboards and advertisements may catch your eye, they should not be the sole basis for selecting a personal injury lawyer or medical malpractice attorney. By conducting thorough research, considering the advantages of smaller firms, and following the essential tips we mentioned, you can select the right attorney to represent your interests and confidently navigate the complexities of your case. Your selection of an attorney can impact the outcome of your case, so make an intelligent choice based on the best advocate for your rights.

Contact a DKY personal injury lawyer in Wilkes-Barre today.Meet with a personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer for a no-obligation case evaluation. Tap to learn more about DKY personal industry cases.


Michael J. Kowalski, a partner with DKY Law Firm, has been representing individuals and their families in personal injury matters for 30 years. These include cases involving medical malpractice, medical errors, birth injuries, and auto and truck accidents, among others. If you are injured, you want Attorney Kowalski and the DKY Law Firm fighting for you. Contact Attorney Kowalski today.



Jeffrey A. Yelen, a partner with DKY Law Firm, is an Elder Law Attorney who brings 25 years of estate planning, probate and estate litigation experience to the clients he serves. He is head of the firm’s Elder Law and Estate Services division and is highly experienced in Wills, Estates, and Trusts.  When you are searching for an Elder Law Lawyer, Attorney Yelen can provide the skilled legal representation you and your family need. Contact Attorney Yelen.


Few things are as essential as securing your legacy in the grand tapestry of life. Your legacy encompasses not just your material possessions but also your values, beliefs, and the impact you leave behind. At the heart of this legacy lies your last will and testament – a document that ensures your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. While the concept of drafting a will might seem straightforward, the reality is far more intricate. This is where the indispensable role of an estate lawyer comes into play.

The Vital Role of Estate Lawyers in Drafting Wills

Why is it crucial to have an estate planning lawyer assist you in drafting your will? The answer lies in the complexity and importance of the task at hand. A will is not merely a list of who gets what; it’s a legal document that must adhere to specific formalities and regulations to be considered valid. Without the expertise of a qualified estate attorney or will lawyer, you run the risk of errors, ambiguities, or even challenges to the validity of your will.

One of the primary benefits of working with an estate planning lawyer for a will is their in-depth knowledge of the law. Estate planning laws vary by state and are subject to frequent changes. An experienced lawyer stays abreast of these legal nuances and ensures your will complies with all relevant statutes and regulations. This knowledge extends beyond the drafting stage. Moreover, estate planning lawyers can also provide valuable guidance on strategies to minimize estate taxes and maximize the efficiency of your estate distribution.

Why do I need a will?

Everyone needs a will. Wills and estate planning are often thought of as something only the wealthy or elderly need to worry about. However, the truth is that everyone, regardless of age or financial status, should have a will. Without a will, state laws dictate your estate’s division, potentially leaving your loved ones in limbo and your wishes unrecognized. Don’t assume that the law will leave your estate to the “obvious” choices. For example, in Pennsylvania, if you are married without a will, your assets will not automatically all go to your spouse. Crafting a will ensures clarity and direction during a time of grief and uncertainty. Whether you’re a young professional, a growing family, or enjoying retirement, having a will safeguards your hard-earned assets and ensures your wishes are followed.

A will also helps streamline the probate process, minimizing administrative burdens and legal fees for your beneficiaries. It’s a proactive step towards protecting your loved ones’ financial security and emotional well-being. Moreover, a will allows you to appoint trusted individuals to carry out your wishes as executors, guardians for minor children, and even caretakers for beloved pets. Simply put, a will is not just a document; it’s a cornerstone of responsible estate planning that everyone should prioritize.

Estate Planning Attorneys Help Safeguard Your Legacy 

Estate lawyers possess the expertise to address complex family dynamics and unique circumstances. From blended families to business interests, a cookie-cutter approach to will drafting won’t suffice. A wills and trust attorney can tailor your will to reflect your specific wishes and mitigate potential conflicts among heirs. By anticipating and addressing potential challenges proactively, estate lawyers help safeguard the integrity of your legacy. 

Don’t Risk Drafting a Will Without an Estate Lawyer

What can go wrong if you try to draft a will without the help of an estate planning attorney? Quite a lot, actually. In particular, without a legal expert to guide you, you may inadvertently overlook critical elements or fail to comply with the formal requirements of will execution. This can lead to ambiguities, disputes, or even the invalidation of your will. Additionally, DIY will templates or online services may not account for your unique circumstances or the latest changes in estate planning laws. As a result, your intentions may not be accurately reflected in your will, leaving your loved ones vulnerable to unnecessary legal battles or financial hardship.

How do you find the right estate lawyer for your needs? Here are five tips when searching for experienced “estate lawyer near me”:

  1. Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family members, or colleagues for recommendations. Personal referrals are often the most reliable way to find a reputable estate lawyer who has provided excellent service to others.
  2. Research Online: Utilize online resources to research estate lawyers in your area. Look for reputable law firms with positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients. Pay attention to any specializations or areas of expertise that align with your needs. For example, Attorney Jeffrey A. Yelen of the Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen Law Firm in Wilkes-Barre has been drafting wills and providing estate planning guidance for more than 25 years. Attorney Yelen leads the firm’s Wills, Estates & Trusts Division. That’s the type of experience you look for when seeking out a lawyer for something as important as a will.
  3. Check Credentials: Verify the qualifications of any prospective estate lawyer. Certify they are licensed to practice law in your state and are in good standing with the bar association. Additionally, consider whether they belong to any professional organizations or have received specialized training in estate planning.
  4. Schedule a Consultation: Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential candidates, schedule a consultation to discuss your estate planning goals and assess their suitability. Before drafting a will, be sure to schedule a consultation with Attorney Yelen.  Use this opportunity to ask questions about experience, approach to will drafting, and fee structure.
  5. Trust Your Instincts: Trust is paramount in any attorney-client relationship. Choose an “estate planning attorney near me” who possesses the requisite expertise and makes you feel comfortable and confident in their abilities to safeguard your legacy.

Contact a Wills & Trust Attorney 

Entrusting the drafting of your will to estate lawyers who focus on wills is a decision of profound importance. By leveraging their expertise, you can navigate the complexities of estate planning with confidence and peace of mind. Your legacy deserves nothing less than meticulous care and attention to detail. An experienced estate lawyer is your trusted ally in securing it for generations to come.

Contact the Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen Estate Law Firm in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to speak to an experienced estate planning & will attorney today.

Read more on estate planning in our blog, “Elder Law Attorney Answers Questions on Gifting Home and Assets.” 


Jeffrey A. Yelen, a partner with DKY Law Firm, is an Elder Law Attorney who brings 25 years of estate planning, probate and estate litigation experience to the clients he serves. He is head of the firm’s Elder Law and Estate Services division and is highly experienced in Wills, Estates, and Trusts.  When you are searching for an Elder Law Lawyer, Attorney Yelen can provide the skilled legal representation you and your family need. Contact Attorney Yelen.

As our parents age, many of us are faced with the question of what to do with their assets. Should we encourage them to gift their house or other assets to us, their children? Should we make bank accounts joint with our parents? These are important questions to consider. It’s essential to seek the opinion of an estate planning attorney or elder law attorney before making any decisions. In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of gifting assets and making bank accounts joint with children and explain why seeking professional advice from an experienced probate lawyer is crucial.

The Importance of Estate Planning and Elder Law

Elder law and estate planning are essential for ensuring your assets are protected and allocated in accordance with your wishes. Estate planning involves designing a plan to distribute your assets after your death, while elder law addresses the legal and financial issues that arise as we age. Estate attorneys and elder care lawyers can guide you in creating an in-depth plan that concentrates on your precise needs and goals. Furthermore, they can also advise you on the most effective ways to protect your assets and fulfill your wishes.

The Risks of Gifting Assets to Children

Many people consider gifting assets, such as their homes, to their children to avoid probate and reduce estate taxes. However, this strategy has significant risks. First, gifting assets to children means you no longer have control over those assets. Once the gift is made, it belongs to your children, who can do whatever they want. This can be problematic if your children are not financially responsible, get divorced, or face other legal issues. Additionally, gifting assets can have significant tax implications. If the value of the gift exceeds the annual gift tax exclusion, you may be subject to gift taxes. Consequently, if your children sell the gifted assets, they may be subject to capital gains taxes. 

The Risks of Joint Bank Accounts

Another common strategy for avoiding probate is to make bank accounts joint with children. While this may seem simple and convenient, it can also have significant risks. First, making a bank account joint with your children means they have equal access to the funds in that account. This can be problematic if your children are not financially responsible or face legal issues.

Additionally, making a bank account joint with your children can have tax implications. If the account earns interest, your children may be responsible for paying taxes on that interest, even if they do not withdraw the funds. In Pennsylvania, joint bank accounts are presumed to be right of survivorship, meaning that only those listed on the bank account with you will inherit the account. In other words, they will not pass according to your will. 

The Benefits of Seeking Professional Advice from an Estate Planning Attorney

Given the risks associated with gifting assets and making bank accounts joint with children, seeking professional advice from an estate planning attorney is essential. An experienced estate lawyer can help you better grasp the potential consequences of gifting assets and making bank accounts joint with children. Moreover, they can provide guidance on alternative strategies for safeguarding your assets and ensuring that your wishes are carried out. 

Alternative Strategies for Protecting Assets

There are several alternative strategies for protecting your assets that do not involve gifting assets or making bank accounts joint with children. These include:

  • Trusts: A trust is a legal arrangement in which a trustee holds and manages assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. They can protect assets from creditors, avoid probate, and reduce estate taxes. A trust attorney can provide guidance.
  • Life Estate Deeds: A life estate deed is a legal document that permits you to transfer ownership of your property to your children while retaining the right to live in the property for the rest of your life. This approach can help you avoid probate and reduce estate taxes.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance can help preserve your assets if you require long-term care. This type of insurance may cover the expenses of nursing home care, assisted living, and in-home care. 

The Role of Estate Lawyers and Elder Law Attorneys

Estate planning lawyers and elder law attorneys play a vital role in assisting individuals and families interested in protecting their assets and ensure that their wishes are carried out. In particular, they can provide guidance on the best strategies for protecting assets, reducing inheritance and estate taxes, and accomplishing your estate goals.

Estate planning and elder law lawyers can also help you create a comprehensive plan that addresses your specific needs and goals. They can provide counsel on the best ways to protect your assets and ensure that your wishes are carried out. 


As our parents age, it’s natural to want to safeguard their assets and ensure that their wishes are carried out. However, gifting assets and making bank accounts joint with children can have significant risks and tax implications. It’s essential to seek skillful advice from an estate planning attorney before making any decisions. To clarify, an elder care lawyer can help you understand the potential outcome of gifting assets and making bank accounts joint with children and provide guidance on alternative strategies for protecting your assets.

By working with an experienced trust attorney or elder lawyer, you can create a comprehensive plan that addresses your specific wishes. One that ensures that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.

Contact a DKY Elder Law Attorney Near Me

Contact The Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen Law Firm (DKY Law) if you are looking for an “estate attorney near me” or for a Pennsylvania estate attorney or Wilkes-Barre estate lawyer.

Tap to learn more about Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning.


Jeffrey A. Yelen, a partner with DKY Law Firm, is an Elder Law Attorney who brings 25 years of estate planning, probate and estate litigation experience to the clients he serves. He is head of the firm’s Elder Law and Estate Services division and is highly experienced in Wills, Estates, and Trusts.  When you are searching for an Elder Law Lawyer, Attorney Yelen can provide the skilled legal representation you and your family need. Contact Attorney Yelen.