Many Pennsylvania residents put off estate planning, and they often do so because they either feel it is something they might do later or because they think they do not have enough assets to make it worthwhile. However, there are strong arguments as to why you should create an estate plan.
Estate planning gives you a means through which to leave your loved ones assets and provide for them once you are no longer around to do so. You may encounter upfront costs associated with creating your estate plan. However, a well-done plan should help you minimize future expenses and maximize the amount you are able to pass on to your beneficiaries.
What happens in the absence of an estate plan
If you die without an estate plan, you leave it up to the attorneys, the government or the IRS to figure out how to handle your estate. Rather than be able to make decisions about who inherits what, Pennsylvania’s intestacy laws make these determinations, which stripping you of control in this area.
What to do to begin drafting an estate plan
Contrary to popular belief, your estate plan does not have to be complex and highly detailed to be effective. When you start to think about yours, write down any objectives you may have. Do you need to create a trust to preserve someone’s eligibility for government benefits? Do you have plans in place if you become incapacitated? Asking yourself these questions and gathering information about your assets and expenses are among the first steps you might take to create your estate plan.
While creating an estate plan in the first place is important, so, too, is revisiting it periodically and making updates to it as needed.
May is National Elder Law Month. There is no better time like the present than to speak with an experienced attorney about creating or making changes to an estate plan.