How do I avoid the most common estate planning errors in Pennsylvania?

attorney helping client avoid estate planning errors

Unfortunately, many believe estate planning is only beneficial for those over 40. However, if you have children, own property, or have a savings account, ensuring you take the time to plan what you would like to happen to your estate should you pass away is vital to providing peace of mind for the future. Keep reading to learn how to avoid the most common estate planning errors and discover how Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys can help guide you through the process.

What are the most frequent estate planning errors?

The most common mistake people make when creating a will is forgetting to take their digital estate into account. Because this is something that has only become a necessity in the past three decades, many overlook the importance of including their digital assets. Your digital assets include bank accounts, rewards programs, and social media profiles. You can dictate what you would like to happen with these assets and who you would like to handle them.

Another significant error some make is getting too specific when planning. Unfortunately, many people create conditions that must be met after their passing for an asset to be distributed. This means your loved ones may be tasked with an impossible circumstance to fulfill. This could include a stipulation that all your children need to be married or go to college for an asset to be given to them. Though you likely made the terms in good faith, it can leave the beneficiaries in limbo. In most instances, the heirs and your executor will need to fight the court to go against the specific instructions left in your will.

Finally, many forget to create a healthcare directive. This is essential for those who suffer chronic illnesses, as it allows the writer to dictate what care they would like to receive. Similarly, they can grant power of attorney to someone, allowing them to make medical decisions for them should they become incapacitated and unable to make choices on their own. Without this document, your healthcare will be left to the decision of your next of kin, which in Pennsylvania, is your spouse, followed by your adult children, parents, or adult brothers and sisters.

Can an attorney help me?

If you want to start planning your estate, ensuring you have the help of a competent attorney is crucial. The last thing you want is to create a plan only for it to be ruled invalid after your passing due to an error that makes it unenforceable. Instead, an attorney can help ensure your will is free of errors.

When you’re ready to start planning, Friedman Schuman is here to help guide you through the process. We understand that estate planning can be overwhelming. Our seasoned attorneys have the experience to make getting your estate in order as simple as possible. Reach out today to get started.

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