Do I Need an Estate Plan?
A well established strategy ensures your wishes are honored today and in the event of your incapacity or death, can help minimize taxes and probate fees, protect your estate from creditors and ensure your familiy has less to worry about.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
Ensure that your assets are transferred to the right people at the right time according to your wishes. There are certain requirements when creating a Last Will and Testament in the state of Pennsylvania. The administrator of your will (also called a testator) must be above 18 years old, fully capable of reasoning and decision making, and must personally sign the will.
Trusts are legal documents that control how and when your assets are transfered to beneficiaries. There are many types of trusts but the major distinction between the two is whether they are revocable or irrevocable. Trusts can help reduce estate taxes, help you control your wealth, protect your legacy and may allow assets to pass outside of probate and remain private.
FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
Power of attorney is granted to an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to give that individual the legal authority to make decisions for an incapacitated “principal.” The laws for creating a power of attorney vary from state to state, but there are certain general guidelines to follow. Before you or a loved one signs any documents, however, be sure to consult with an attorney concerning all applicable laws and regulations.
HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney for health care can make health care decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so and can access your medical records to the extent that it’s allowed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN?
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has developed what is commonly referred to as the laws of Intestate Succession. A person who dies without a will in Pennsylvania is said to have died “intestate.” The Law of Intestate Succession govern how your assets are distributed in the event you die without a Last Will and Testament. It is important to create a plan so you can determine who inherits your assets instead of the state and federal government.
We make it easy for you to get your estate plan started. Contact our office today to set up an appointment with one of our Estate Planning Attorney's.