Many individuals in Pennsylvania understand the importance of estate planning. Simply put, estate planning is the process of deciding how your assets will be distributed if you’re unable to manage them yourself and who will receive your assets upon your death. Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy, so if you haven’t gone through the process yet, here are a few components that your estate planning should address.
First, decide who will be able to make financial and health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Consider also naming a trustee to oversee your assets in case an incapacitating event occurs. Your lawyer may help you draft important documents such as naming a power of attorney or a health care proxy.
Second, plan for the distribution of assets upon your death. Assets that are in your name only will need to be distributed through your will. Your lawyer may guide you through the process of creating your will. If you would like to establish trusts for your surviving spouse or children, your lawyer may also draft those documents for you.
Finally, if there are potential tax issues associated with your estate, consult your accountant. These issues could range from who will need to pay income tax on your retirement account to how your trust income taxes should be paid.
Your family and legacy are both worth fighting for. Planning your estate is highly important, but going through the process on your own can be difficult. With so many factors to consider, it may be beneficial to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney about creating a plan that will take care of you and your loved ones.