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Appoint the right people for important roles in an estate plan

When Pennsylvania residents are having a comprehensive estate plan drafted, they are, out of necessity, determining who they can depend on in crucial moments of their life. First and foremost, choosing the right attorney to help craft your estate plan is a big decision. But, who will you appoint to play key roles when your estate plan is put into effect?

For instance, every estate plan will need to have an executor in place. The executor of an estate will be the person who is responsible for making sure that all of your assets are accounted for, that all applicable debts and taxes are paid, and then ensure that the remaining assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. Choosing the right person for this role is obviously important, as this will be the person who will take charge of your personal affairs and make sure that everything is in order before the assets in your estate are distributed. Pennsylvania residents will want to pick someone who is detail-oriented for this role, as well as someone who will have the time to take care of these important matters.

Next, as part of an estate plan, most people will need to appoint a person to have the power of attorney, both for financial matters and healthcare decisions, in the event that the planner is incapacitated and unable to make these decisions. In some cases, the same person will play both roles. The person who is selected needs to be trustworthy and have your best interests at heart.

Lastly, parents of minor children will need to make sure that they designate a guardian for those children in the event of a tragedy. The guardian will be the person who will raise the children in the event that both parents die or are not available to continue caring for the children.

Source:, "Estate-Planning Basics," Oct. 12, 2017

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