Estate planning can be a stressful process, but knowing what to expect and what each document entails can make things much easier. Read on for an estate planning checklist.
What is a will?
When someone writes a will, they essentially outline what they wish to happen with certain assets upon their passing. In a will, you will appoint an executor- this is the person in charge of administering your estate upon your passing. You will also select beneficiaries- these are the people you wish to receive portions of your estate upon your passing. Do not make the mistake of failing to create a will. Failing to create a will is known as dying intestate, and if this happens to you, your family will be left to sort out all of your estate matters on your behalf. This can be incredibly stressful and difficult, especially during a time of mourning.
What is a trust?
Trusts have various functions, and there are a number of different types of trusts, though the primary purpose of creating trusts is to maximize the inheritance for your beneficiaries. In many cases, trusts can help avoid certain tax implications as well. Some of the most common trusts in Pennsylvania include special needs trusts, irrevocable tax trusts, irrevocable trusts, and revocable living trusts.
What are guardianships?
Guardianships are something that all parents with children should establish. Appointing a guardian means you are selecting someone you trust to raise your child, should anything happen to you and your spouse that renders you unable to do so yourselves. Without appointing guardians, the courts will appoint someone to raise your child on their own, and while they will try to appoint the best guardian possible, no one knows who that person is as well as you do.
What is a power of attorney?
Powers of attorney are great ways to prepare for incapacitation. You can create either financial or healthcare powers of attorney. Essentially, if you become incapacitated, you can appoint someone to manage your finances in accordance with your wishes in a financial power of attorney. In a healthcare power of attorney, you can appoint someone to make critical medical decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so on your own.
To create a comprehensive estate plan, you will need the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Reach out to our firm today to discuss your options.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED PENNSYLVANIA FIRM
Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team that you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.