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Estate Planning Archives

What should you know when you get started on estate planning?

If there is one thing that Pennsylvania residents can agree upon when it comes to estate planning, it is that the whole process can be somewhat of a mystery. Where do you start? What estate planning documents are right for you? Is it so bad to die without a will? All of these questions are completely understandable. But, it is best to start at the beginning. So, where do Pennsylvania residents start when it comes to estate planning?

Heirlooms and Estate Planning

Estate planning sometimes deals with family heirlooms. A growing trend finds family heirlooms being sold or given away by younger generations to whom these items have been left because they do not see the value in holding on to them. Millennials and generation X'ers may be left cultural and historical items from past generations in a Last Will and Testament; but more of them are shunning pieces like grandma's antique chairs and dining room table and opting for new furniture from places like IKEA. The same could be said for large hutches and the fine china that resides in them. Old scrapbooks full of family pictures and letters may wind up on the scrap heap as well.

Trusts can be effective tools in estate planning

Estate planning is important to protect your family. Much has been said about the consequences of dying without a Will. Estate planning can help to prevent will contests and allow the assets of the decedent to be divided in the manner that the decedent has provided for in the Will. However, many Pittsburgh residents may not be aware that, in addition to preparing a Will, trusts can also be created as part of estate planning.

Estate planning is essential for single parents

Estate planning is essential if you are a single parent. Raising a child alone is difficult, as many Pittsburgh parents may already be aware. Single parents have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, and their days are spent running from work to children's activities, ensuring that their children are taken care of in every way possible. However, what happens if a day comes when you are unable to take care of your child? Have you taken the necessary steps to ensure that your children and their needs are met even after you are unable to do so?

Make Estate Planning a New Year's Resolution

Estate Planning should be one of your New Year's resolutions. Each New Year comes with new resolutions. Despite the success or failure of keeping last year's resolutions, Pittsburgh residents probably do not hesitate to make new ones each year. Pittsburgh residents may resolve to eat healthier, exercise more or spend more time with loved ones. But, even as they pledge to spend more time with family members, many don't consider taking a step that would ensure their family members are taken care of after they pass on -- estate planning.

When You Can't Make Your Own Medical Decisions, Who Will?

Decisions related to your health and medical care are highly personal and are typically made after consulting your physician and weighing the related pros and cons. Even under the best of circumstances, it can be difficult to decide whether the potential benefits of a certain surgical procedure or medication outweigh the inherent risks and possible side effects.

What if a Pittsburgh resident dies without a Will?

Estate planning, including Will preparation, is important. However, despite the best intentions to have a serious conversation with aging parents about estate planning, including preparation of or updates to their Wills, Pittsburgh residents can get caught up in the holiday season and forget to deal with these important issues. When estate planning matters are left open, a person may end up dying without a Will and the family has to deal with the aftermath. So, what happens after the death of a loved one who does not have a Will?

When Life Changes, So Must Your Estate Plan

The importance of comprehensive estate planning cannot be overstated. In addition to passing wealth on to loved ones and ensuring that your assets and personal belongings are distributed according to your wishes, an estate plan can also be used to plan and account for your own long-term care needs.

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