If you own property in Pennsylvania, it is a good idea to have an estate plan. The same is true if you have children who may need a guardian in the event that you are no longer able to take care of them. Having a plan in place may make it easier to ensure that those who depend on you will have what they need to survive if you die or are incapacitated for any reason.
A will allows you to name a guardian for your children
In your will, you can name the person who will be tasked with raising your son or daughter if you are unable to do so. It should also be possible to bequeath assets to this person to make it easier to provide for your child’s needs.
Holding assets in a trust allows you to avoid probate
Property that is held in a trust is considered to be outside of your estate. Therefore, these items typically don’t have to go through probate. An exception may be made for any property that is placed in a trust using a pour-over will. This type of estate planning tool may also make it easier to protect items from being seized by creditors.
A financial agent can watch over your affairs
Adding a financial power of attorney to your estate plan empowers someone to watch over your money when you’re not able to. This may help to ensure that mortgage, auto loan or other payments are made in a timely manner. Staying current on any type of loan can reduce the risk that you’ll lose a home, car or other asset. An estate planning attorney may be able to explain the process of designating a financial agent.
Ideally, you’ll start the process of creating your estate plan as soon as you become a legal adult. If you need any help drafting a will, trust or other documents, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney.