Lake Wallenpaupack Estate Planning Attorney
No one really wants to think about old age and death. Nevertheless, everyone grows old, so everyone will need an estate plan. When done right, estate planning provides for peace of mind, as our clients know that their loved ones will be adequately taken care of in the future. If you have questions about estate planning, then reach out to our Lake Wallenpaupack estate planning attorneys today.
It is Never Too Early to Create an Estate Plan
A proper estate plan prepares for more than your death. It also anticipates what will happen if you are incapacitated by an accident or illness. You should discuss creating appropriate legal documents with an attorney.
An Estate Plan is More than a Will
Wills are a common way of leaving property to people. However, you might also use a simple trust to help you avoid the expense and delay of probate. You can fund a trust with property while living or have assets pour over from a will into a trust.A proper estate plan should also include advance directives, such as:
A living will, in which you identify the treatment you want—and don’t want—in the event you are incapacitated.
Durable medical power of attorney. You can nominate an agent who can make healthcare decisions if you are incapacitated.
Durable financial power of attorney. Your agent can handle your financial affairs, such as cashing checks or selling property when you can no longer make these decisions for yourself.
“One Size Fits All” Approaches Do Not Work
This is the main reason online DIY estate planning documents are inadequate. Few people have simple, straightforward estates. For example, careful estate planning is necessary if you have a blended family, minor children, a disabled family member, or assets in more than one state.Poor Estate Plans are CostlyIf you throw together a DIY estate plan, then your family could be in for a nasty surprise at your death:
You might not have created the documents according to the law, which means they are invalid. Instead of using a will to determine who inherits from you, a probate judge will use Pennsylvania intestacy laws.
You might invite a will contest. Unhappy family members can drag out the probate process by trying to invalidate your will.
You might cost your family a hefty amount in taxes because you did not plan properly.
You might disqualify a family member from obtaining government benefits.
It is far costlier to try to sort out these issues after you die than it is to properly create an estate plan in the first place.
You Need to Revisit Estate Plans
An estate plan that works at age 30 probably does not work for you at age 50. A lot can change over the years, including:
Birth of children
Sale of substantial property, such as real estate
Acquisition of more property
Even if you already have an estate plan, it does not hurt to take a second look with an experienced Lake Wallenpaupack estate planning lawyer, who can help you think about what needs to be changed.
Contact Us Today
At Farley & Bernathy LLC, our main objective is to help you realize your estate planning goals. To that end, we listen carefully to each of our clients and craft individualized estate plans that meet their needs. If you would like to learn more, please call to schedule a free initial consultation.