You may not want to think about it, but everyone will eventually die. And when you do, what will happen to your possessions? Will your loved ones know what you wanted?
If you don’t have an estate plan, you’re not alone. Most adults in the U.S. don’t have a will or living trust. But estate planning is essential for everyone, no matter their age or assets. An estate plan can help ensure that your wishes are carried out and help avoid any confusion or conflict among your heirs.
Estate Planning Objectives
Many people think that estate planning is only for the wealthy. That is not true. Anyone with assets should have a plan for managing those assets in the event of death or diminished capacity.
Suppose you are a resident of Pennsylvania and die without a will. In that case, the court refers to the concept of intestate succession, where the distribution of assets is based on how closely related people are to you. However, just having a will is not enough. An estate plan ensures that you choose which beneficiaries receive your estate. It also covers other issues, including:
- A power of attorney or healthcare proxy to make decisions if you are ever incapacitated
- Guardianship for any minor children or dependents
- Minimizing tax liability for your heirs
Estate planning is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your loved ones and ensure they carry out your wishes after you die. While the process may seem daunting, talking to someone who can guide you with your estate plan can make it easier. They can explain all the available options and help you create a plan that fits your unique needs.