The Basics About Estate Planning
Planning for end-of-life decisions is something that we all must face. Dealing with this difficult task can help with the decision-making process during a stressful time in your family. In order to properly prepare, you need to plan your estate, declare your powers of attorney and consider any future medical needs you may have.
An estate is everything you own, including your home, jewelry, clothes, money, cars and pets. Before you pass away, you should create a will that states whom you would like to have inherit these items from you. If you do not prepare a will, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will dictate who will inherit from you based upon a series of laws known as the intestate laws. However, if you rely on the intestate laws, your estate may be distributed to individuals whom you do not want to include. In order to avoid this problem, you should consider meeting with an estate planning attorney who can prepare a will for you that ensures that your property is distributed to the people you want to have inherit from you when you die.
An estate planning attorney can also discuss with you the importance of having a durable power of attorney . In a durable power of attorney, you can name an agent who can assist you with the management of your finances if you cannot do so for yourself or if you decide that you no longer want to handle these matters yourself.
A third document that you should discuss with your estate planning attorney is a health care power of attorney. This document allows you to appoint someone to speak with medical professionals in the event that you are unable to do so. Additionally, a health care power of attorney includes a living will. In a living will, you can give directions as to what type of medical care you would want at the end of your life.