What should I do before I begin estate planning in Pennsylvania?

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Whether you just graduated high school or are about to turn 50, it’s never too late to begin estate planning. Unfortunately, many assume they aren’t old enough or do not have enough assets to warrant creating a will, writing a trust, or establishing a power of attorney. If you’re unsure where to start, the best place to start is by enlisting the help of Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys to guide you through this process. The following blog explores the additional steps you can take to make this easier.

If I want to begin estate planning, what can I do?

If you’re ready to begin planning your estate, the first thing you must do is take an inventory of your estate. You may assume you do not have a lot of stuff, but when you begin writing down assets, you may surprise yourself! You’ll want to include tangible assets, like real estate, cars, collections, and other personal items. You should also write down accounts, stocks, policies, retirement plans, and additional intangible policies.

Once you have taken inventory, the next thing you’ll want to do is start planning for the needs of your loved ones after you pass. This includes deciding who will receive these assets. Jotting down beneficiaries’ names next to the asset you intend to leave them. You should also name a guardian for any minor children and pets.

Finally, you’ll need to ensure your wishes are met. You should establish a medical power of attorney to grant authority to a person of your choosing to make medical decisions on your behalf. Additionally, you can give someone financial power of attorney so they can act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to do so on your own.

What should I do once the process is complete?

Once you have completed the estate planning process, you must not forget about your plan. Though the estate plans have been finalized, your life can change after you complete the process. As such, you must update your documents to reflect any changes that impact your life. This includes updating your will to leave assets to grandchildren, writing out an ex-spouse, or changing your power of attorney.

Why do I need an attorney?

If you are ready to start estate planning, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this can be incredibly complex if you are unfamiliar with the necessary documents. As such, you may make errors that can invalidate your plan. This leaves your estate and loved ones vulnerable to the laws of the state.

Friedman Schuman is ready to help if you need assistance creating the necessary documents to provide peace of mind. We understand how frustrating this process can be. As such, our dedicated team will work with you to help you ensure your wishes are met. Contact our firm today to learn how we can assist you during these times.

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