Pennsylvania Estate Planning Fundamentals

Some people think estate planning is only for families of extraordinary wealth, the so-called “one percent.” The truth is that people from all walks of life can benefit from estate planning, and having their plan created by an attorney who focuses on this specialized area of the law.

A properly designed and implemented estate plan allows you to control and protect your assets while you are alive and after you pass away, control who can make important decisions for you in the event of incapacity, protect the inheritance of your minor and adult children, and more.

An Estate Plan Should Include the Following Foundational Legal Documents:

  • Will

    A Will directs how your estate will be administered and how your assets will be distributed after death. A Will also allows you to name guardians for minor children in case you and your spouse pass away unexpectedly.

  • Financial Power of Attorney

    A Financial Power of Attorney allows you to name someone of your own choosing (your agent or attorney-in-fact) to manage your finances in the event of incapacity.

  • Medical Power of Attorney

    A Medical Power of Attorney, also called a Healthcare Proxy, allows you to name a person you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

  • Living Will

    A Living Will details your wishes concerning your medical care, including the use of life support, a feeding tube, or other medical treatments related to an end-of-life situation or permanent unconsciousness.

  • HIPAA Medical Release

    A HIPAA Medical Release allows you to specify who has access to your medical information. Without a HIPAA Release, family members may be denied access to information about your condition in an emergency.

Other planning tools, such as trusts, can help you accomplish a number of goals. We can design a plan to help you achieve all or just some of the following, depending on your particular objectives:

  • Give you control over your assets if you become incapacitated and after you pass away
  • Bequeath what you want to whom you want in the manner you want
  • Protect your hard-earned assets against long-term care costs, lawsuits, creditors and other threats
  • Protect your loved one’s inheritance from divorce, creditors, predators, and other threats
  • Pass your values, work ethic, and sense of responsibility on to heirs
  • Reduce income, gift, estate, inheritance, and other taxes
  • Give to charities efficiently
  • Keep your financial affairs and family information private
  • Leave a lasting legacy

Consult a Pennsylvania Estate Planning Attorney to Help You Plan for the Future

We will work closely with you to thoroughly understand your wishes, clearly explain your options, and design a customized plan to accomplish your goals and help ensure your wishes are carried out. We also welcome the opportunity to work in collaboration with your existing advisors and financial professionals. We invite you to schedule a personal meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss your family’s unique needs and goals.

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