What Types Of Estate Planning Matters Does Your Firm Handle?
I handle basic estate planning. You need documents for when you die and you need documents while you’re still alive. Most people are familiar with wills. In a will, when you die, you designate where your assets go. You have a residuary beneficiary or beneficiaries and appoint guardians and trustees for any minor children. Trustees are the people who are going to manage those funds for those minor children until they reach a certain age of maturity, which will be designated by you in your will. The trusts we create have trust provisions that say that the funds can be used for the benefit of your children until they reach a certain age.
It’s important for everyone to designate an executor. That’s the person who’s responsible for making funeral arrangements and probating the will. As an executor, you gather all the assets, notify the beneficiaries, pay off all of the debts, and file an inheritance tax return, which has to be done within nine months of a person’s death. Then, you make the distribution and close out the estate. The will is important for after you pass away, as you get to decide who you are leaving things to.
In the absence of a will in Pennsylvania, there are laws they state who gets what. Someone has to step forward to be appointed as an administrator to be able to take care the property of the estate.
You should appoint an executor and an alternate, so that you have a backup person if they pass away. You should absolutely have a will, so that you can make your specific bequests and leave things to whoever you want to leave them to. If you have children, you want to appoint guardians and have a trust set up while you’re alive.
There are two major aspects that a person has to attend to during their lives. One is financial and the other is medical. For the financial aspects, there is something called a durable power of attorney. With the durable power of attorney, you get to designate who it is that, should you be unable to act on your own behalf, could step in and act as if they were you, on your behalf.
In Pennsylvania, we have a medical power of attorney, where you designate someone to make medical decisions for you, and an alternate/back up person. There is also a living will provision that states that you don’t want to be kept alive by artificial means, should you be in a permanent state of unconsciousness or in a terminal condition. We also have a place to designate whether you want to be considered an organ or tissue donor and a definition section, for terms such as, “terminal condition”, “life sustaining treatment”, and “permanent state of unconsciousness”.
For more information on Estate Planning Matters In Pennsylvania, a phone consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 750-9202 today.
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