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Estate Planning in Pennsylvania: What You Should Know

Town Law Publishing Jan. 15, 2023

Estate planning is a crucial tool for securing your financial future and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. In the state of Pennsylvania, there are several important steps you can take to create an effective estate plan.

First, it's important to create a will. A will is a legal document that outlines how your assets will be distributed after your death. This can include specific bequests to individuals or organizations, as well as the appointment of an executor to oversee the distribution of your assets. Without a will, Pennsylvania law will determine how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your wishes.

Power of Attorney

Another important aspect of estate planning in Pennsylvania is creating a power of attorney. A power of attorney gives someone else the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This can include decisions related to your health care, finances, and other important matters. It's important to choose someone you trust to act as your power of attorney, and to discuss your wishes with them in advance.

Creation of a Trust

Creating a trust can also be valuable for estate planning in Pennsylvania. A trust is a legal arrangement in which a trustee holds and manages assets on behalf of the trust's beneficiaries. Trusts can be used to avoid probate, to provide for children or other beneficiaries, or to minimize taxes. There are several different types of trusts, and it's important to speak with an attorney to determine which type of trust is right for you.

There are several other steps you can take to protect your assets and ensure that your wishes are carried out. For example, you can purchase life insurance to provide for your loved ones in the event of your death. You can also create a living will, which outlines your end-of-life care preferences. And you can consider long-term care planning, to ensure that you have the resources to pay for any long-term care needs you may have in the future.

It's also important to regularly review and update your estate plan, as your assets and family situation may change over time. It's a good idea to speak with an attorney or financial advisor at least once a year to review your plan and make any necessary changes.

Estate planning is for securing your financial future and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. By creating a will, power of attorney, and trust, and taking other steps to protect your assets, you can give yourself peace of mind and ensure that your loved ones are provided for. Regularly reviewing and updating your estate plan will help you to stay on top of any changes in your assets and family situation, and to make any necessary adjustments.

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If you are interested in creating an estate plan or reviewing your existing plan, we invite you to contact our law office for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will work with you to understand your unique needs and goals and will help you to create an estate plan that meets your specific needs. Don't delay in protecting your assets and your loved ones, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.