Most Pennsylvania residents understand the importance of estate planning, but many of them find addressing end of life issues extremely difficult. People in the prime of their lives often vow to have these discussions at some unspecified time in the future, but that only delays the inevitable and leaves their loved ones vulnerable to life's uncertainties. Once the decision has been made to draft an estate plan, the first step is usually compiling a list of all of the assets it will be used to distribute.
Estate planning allows individuals to make end-of-life decisions ahead of time by creating wills and advanced directives. While a will generally includes information on funeral arrangements, inheritances and guardianship of minor children, an advance directive focuses on health care. By creating an advance directive, Pennsylvania residents may make their health care preferences known in writing. If an injury or illness leads to incapacitation, medical personnel and family members may follow the instructions in the advance directive to approve or decline certain treatments.
Your effort to begin planning your estate long before you ever anticipate needing its implementation is crucial to your financial health. An estate plan that you have carefully crafted to meet your lifestyle and personal desires can be equally as beneficial to your surviving family members. At Beroes Law Center, we are experienced in helping people in Pennsylvania with many different backgrounds to develop an optimal plan for their future.
When parents remarry in Pennsylvania, they may accidentally disinherit their children if they do not update their financial accounts and estate planning documents. This can happen on both sides, since the spouse remarrying may have kids of their own as well.
Creating an estate plan is really only half the battle. There are also times when you'll need to update your will to ensure it continues to meet your needs, or your family could be subject to serious issues after you're gone. Wise Bread explains a few of the times when updating your will is an absolute must.
If you have children and are working on your will in Pennsylvania, you are probably focusing on how to divide your assets among them when you pass away. However, one thing every parent must also consider is what happens to the children if you both die before they turn 18? It is imperative you name a guardian in the rare event both parents pass away earlier than expected.
Just because you have completed a will does not mean you never have to revisit it. In fact, you might need to return to it several times over the course of your life to name new beneficiaries or remove old ones. There are many events that can radically change a person’s life, and it is important that your last will and testament be updated to reflect that. Otherwise, you might find yourself entangled in legal problems in Pittsburgh because of outdated beneficiary designations.
Often, people decide to set up a power of attorney during their marriage. This can help provide peace of mind by allowing spouses to handle each other’s affairs in the event that one becomes incapacitated for some reason. However, things change, and some people may find that their relationship has fallen apart. When this happens, it may be necessary for some people to take a second look at various matters such as their power of attorney. After all, failing to do so could allow an ex to have access to assets as well as financial accounts, which can be particularly concerning in the wake of a bitter divorce.