Pennsylvania Estate Planning
Everyone really ought to do some basic estate planning—that is, planning to make sure that your wishes are followed after your death, your family is spared unnecessary expense and delay, and that someone you trust will be in charge if you ever become unable to manage things on your own.
If you live in Pennsylvania, you probably need these estate planning documents:
- a will, to leave your assets and name your executor
- a durable power of attorney for finances, to name someone to take care of your finances if it’s ever necessary
- a living will, to spell out your end-of-life wishes, and
- a health care power of attorney, to name someone (called your agent) to make sure your health care wishes are honored.
You may also want to consider probate-avoidance. Probate is a court proceeding, conducted after someone’s death, that gives your executor authority to pay your debts and taxes and transfer your assets to the people who inherit them. But probate can be expensive and time-consuming, and many people prefer to avoid it altogether, saving their families money and hassle. Probate can be easily avoided with a living trust or other methods—as long as you act during your lifetime. After your death, your family won’t be able to take steps to avoid probate of your estate.
The articles below discuss Pennsylvania estate planning issues.