Whether you want to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of, or you have specific instructions for how you would like to be taken care of, it is never too early to create an estate plan. With the New Year fast approaching, now is the time most people begin to contemplate fresh starts and resolutions for what they want to accomplish in the near future. Over the course of these last few tumultuous years, more and more people have come to realize the importance of estate planning. Getting your affairs in order in case the worst were to happen is not only one of the best things you can do for your loved ones, but it is also one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you are considering forming an estate plan for the New Year, do not hesitate to contact the Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys at Friedman Schuman to learn more about your next steps.
Why should I have an estate plan for the New Year?
Perhaps the most essential reason to start an estate plan for the New Year is the fact that you still have time. If these last few years have taught us anything, it is that the future can be uncertain and that everything can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. While you may think you have all the time in the world to consider your options, it never hurts to take advantage of the time you have now. This could mean talking with a close relative about being the personal representative (executor) of your estate, or updating your existing will to include new assets or even new family members as part of your estate plan. Regardless of the reasoning, there really is no time like the present.
It should also be noted that by beginning the estate planning process as soon as possible, you could potentially minimize certain legal hurdles like probate court. Without a valid will in place, probate court would appoint an administrator in charge of handling your estate where your assets would become subject to Pennsylvania intestate succession laws. This could mean that your assets may be handled in ways you would not want, or be given to people that you do not wish to have them. However, with a proper will in place, many of the issues with probate court can be bypassed where the court would act primarily as a legal intermediary ensuring that your last wishes are carried out.
No matter where you are along the estate planning process, having an experienced estate planning attorney working on your behalf is the best way to guarantee no discrepancies arise with how your estate is managed after you pass away.