No one wants to contemplate their death. For many, the prospect of estate planning is ghoulish and foreboding. While emotionally understandable, the importance of documenting everything from who gets a particular possession to how your funeral is handled makes life easier for the loved ones you leave behind.
Your death is the last thing on your mind
Whether starting from scratch or revising estate planning documents, the sooner you put pen to paper, the better. The loss of a close family member is devastating for the survivors. That dreadful situation becomes much worse if a Last Will and Testament is not drafted, or has not been updated to reflect life changes. Without a Last Will and Testament, strong family bonds can fracture if there are disputes involving who is entitled to what personal or real property. And, in addition to mourning, loved ones are left to accept Pennsylvania’s laws regulating the disposition of property, which may not play out how you wished.
Not rich enough
One of the more common misconceptions surrounding estate planning is the notion that you have to possess a certain amount of wealth. No such threshold exists when it comes to creating a Last Will and Testament or a Trust. The purpose of planning is to designate where your assets will go, regardless of value. Estate planning can also include deciding who will be making your medical and financial decisions when you are no longer able to do so , by designating an agent to act as your Power-of-Attorney.
Hesitancy to pay a lawyer
Attorneys charge fees for their services. Websites exist that can help facilitate the process at a reduced cost. However, those approaches are generic, bordering on “one size fits all” and often do not take into account specific circumstances. An experienced estate planning lawyer can provide personalized service based on your specific estate planning needs.
Meeting with an attorney to discuss estate planning is the first step to documenting your wishes and is the best way to provide you with peace of mind and minimize rancor among surviving family members.