Unfortunately, there will come a time when you will no longer be around to care for your loved ones. And so, you likely hold onto the hope that they will be taken care of in the way you intend in your estate plan. This hope can ring true if your estate plan is 100 percent valid and enforceable. Follow along to find out how you can ensure that your estate plan is legally binding and how one of the proficient Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can help you out with this.
In what ways can I make my estate plan legally binding?
One of the most important documents that you can establish in your estate plan is your Last Will and Testament. This document allows you to divide up all your assets (i.e., savings, real estate, vehicles, etc) to your desired beneficiaries (i.e., family members, friends, loved ones, etc). And to make this document legally binding, the state of Pennsylvania requires that you sign it.
If you do not sign your Last Will and Testament, or it is otherwise invalid, then your assets will be divided based on Pennsylvania’s laws of intestacy. This means that your estate distribution may go differently than you had written.
With that being said, below are other ways in which you can threaten your estate plan’s ability to be carried out correctly:
- You forget to assign certain assets in your Last Will and Testament.
- You forget to assign a guardian for your minor child or children in your Last Will and Testament.
- You forget to update your estate plan after you have undergone a significant life change (i.e., moved out of state, divorced, remarried, adopted children, became a grandparent, etc).
How can an attorney ensure that my estate plan is carried out correctly?
One small error can jeopardize your estate plan’s consideration as legally binding. For example, if you word your Last Will and Testament in a way that contradicts Pennsylvania law, it may become invalidated. Or, if you word your Last Will and Testament in a way that contradicts your other estate planning documents, you may open up the opportunity for a family member to contest or dispute your plan.
And so, we understand just how stressful the estate planning process can be. This is why we recommend that you retain the services of a skilled Butler County estate planning attorney to take you step-by-step through this process. We know all the common mistakes that come up with estate planning documents, and we will help you swiftly avoid them. We will also help you find a financial advisor and tax professional that can assist you in considering life insurance plans and Pennsylvania’s estate tax laws.
If you want to ensure that your estate plan is carried out correctly, then pick up the phone and give us a call today.