Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Creating a plan for after you pass away can be scary and overwhelming. People often think that they are 'too young' to start estate planning. However, you never know what can happen. Further, a plan protects your loved ones, your property, and yourself.
The experienced Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys at Leeson & Leeson have been helping clients navigate this process for the last 50 years throughout the Lehigh Valley.
What is an Estate Plan?
An estate is all of your property, property rights, liabilities, and debts that you own. The assets that make up your estate must be transferred to other parties upon your death. Estate planning is the process of preparing and arranging personal and financial matters for the time of your death. Here are some documents and items that could be included in your estate plan:
Will. This is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after death. In a will, you can also appoint guardians for your minor children.
Trust. An entity or agreement where the individual who is devising assets, the grantor, transfers property to a trustee (who is often times the grantor themselves) to hold in accordance with the wishes of the grantor. Upon the grantor's death, the trust property goes to the beneficiaries who inherit the assets.
Powers of Attorney. The person who you designate as your power of attorney (otherwise called an 'agent') can handle your property if you become incapacitated. This can mean they could sell or dispose of the property. The agent must act with due care to your wishes. You can work with an attorney to determine what role this individual will have in your estate and help establish limitations for this role as well.
Why Do I Need One?
An estate plan is crucial to protect yourself and your loved ones, and there are numerous benefits to beginning this planning as soon as possible.
An estate plan clearly and precisely communicates your desires after you are incapacitated or deceased. Dying without a will causes extra stress for your loved ones and can make it difficult for them to manage your estate.
Drafting and executing a will ensures your final requests are realized, and your estate is distributed in the way you want. Perhaps more importantly, having a will can make the administration of the estate simpler and easier for the executor (the person appointed by the decedent to manage and distribute the assets owned at death) of the estate.
For these reasons and more, starting estate planning as soon as possible with a qualified and experienced attorney to protect your assets and goals is crucial.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Estate planning can involve a lawyer who can assist with many things including, but not limited to the following:
Determining what your goals and concerns are.
What your assets are and how they are owned.
How to appoint guardians for your minor children.
Planning for the worst is not something that most people are eager to do, so let a Bethlehem estate planning attorney at Leeson & Leeson take that on for you. We will prioritize your wishes while handling the legal aspect of estate planning. Call Leeson & Leeson at 610-691-3320 today to set up a consultation.