For Pennsylvania residents with assets, having a formal estate plan ensures that property goes to whom or where the owner wishes instead of the probate court making the decision. If you have a family, financial accounts, real estate and vehicle, a will is the first step toward safeguarding the contents of your estate for your loved ones. However, every situation is unique, and a will may not be enough. We often assist clients in the creation of a comprehensive estate plan.
According to Fidelity, your family, property and a broad range of special circumstances help determine whether you can benefit from an estate plan, or if a will meets your needs. Although your family’s size and asset value are often primary concerns when developing an estate plan, other factors may also contribute prominently to its creation.
If you own a business, succession planning is critical if you want to keep it in the family. Creating a structure, such as a family limited liability company or family limited partnership, allows for ease of transferring business assets to other family members. You can convey your wishes regarding anticipated transitions and unexpected events. It also provides peace of mind to family members, partners and employees that a plan is in place.
You may enjoy good health now, but medical issues may prevent you from making routine decisions as you age. A financial power of attorney and a health care proxy allows for your care in the manner you prefer, even if you become incapacitated. Discussing your thoughts and expectations with each of these individuals before issues arise can help make your end of life plan run smoothly.
If you have philanthropic goals, want a college fund for the grandchildren or have a blended family, an estate plan with trusts can help you ensure your beneficiaries receive their inheritance per your wishes.