There are three main documents that encompass an estate plan: A Will, a Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Directive or Living Will. In addition, certain situations merit creating a Trust or retitling real estate. Estate planning documents should be reviewed every few years and revised as life changes (or the law) require. Some examples of life events that may prompt a review of your estate plan include marriage, separation or divorce, birth of a child, death of a family member, acquisition or sale of significant assets, receiving an inheritance, moving into Pennsylvania from another State or Country, retirement from employment, eldercare situations, and changes to existing tax laws.
It is important to have an estate plan, even if you have limited assets. If you have minor children or a dependent adult child for whom you provide care, appointing a Guardian through your Power of Attorney to care for the children on a temporary or emergency basis in the event of an accident or illness can give you peace of mind. By naming a Guardian of minors or dependent adult children in your Will, you can be assured your loved ones will be cared for in the event of your passing.
Determining beneficiaries of assets that pass outside of a Will, such as life insurance, retirement accounts, pension, investment and brokerage accounts, also warrants careful consideration. Do not overlook updating the beneficiary forms for those assets as your life circumstances change.
In addition, despite the elimination of Estate Tax concerns for most individuals and families, Pennsylvania is one of the few states which continues to assess Inheritance Tax on asset transfers upon an individual’s passing. We can help you plan to reduce this tax obligation.
Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat PC is here to assist you in all of your estate planning needs. Our experienced attorneys* can provide you with an individualized plan pertaining to your specific situation. We can assist you in developing an estate plan for any stage of life, whether you are a single person, a newly married couple, a young family, empty-nesters, or in need of eldercare advice. Contact us today at 717.299.7342 for a convenient appointment, including home visits (if needed), to discuss the appropriate estate plan for your current life situation. *Attorneys Sandra Edwards Gray, Christopher C. Straub, John F. Pyfer, Jr. or Albert J. Meier will be happy to assist you.