Securing your legacy and ensuring your wishes come to fruition requires careful planning. This is especially true when it comes to your estate. In Pennsylvania, a basic estate plan should encompass specific components to address certain aspects of your life.
Understanding and incorporating these three fundamental elements into your plan can provide peace of mind and streamline the distribution of your assets in accordance with your preferences.
1. Last will and testament
The foundation of any comprehensive estate plan is a will, and yet, according to Forbes, less than half of Americans aged 55 and over have wills. This legal document outlines where you want your assets to end up after your passing. Identifying beneficiaries and specifying the distribution of your property, including real estate, financial assets and personal belongings, is key.
2. Advance health care directive
An advance directive, also known as a living will, is an important component of a Pennsylvania estate plan. This document allows you to outline your preferences regarding medical treatment and end-of-life decisions. Clearly articulating your wishes for medical interventions, life support and organ donation ensures that your health care decisions align with your values. Appointing a health care proxy, someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf, offers an additional layer of protection.
3. Financial power of attorney
A financial power of attorney designates someone you trust to manage your financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated. This individual can handle tasks such as paying bills, managing investments and making financial decisions on your behalf. Choosing a responsible, trustworthy person ensures that your financial matters undergo management according to your wishes.
Securing your legacy and protecting your interests necessitates thoughtful estate planning and the inclusion of these three components in your plan. Regularly reviewing and updating these documents helps them stay relevant and effective over time.