The Importance Of Reviewing & Updating Your Estate Plan


There are three main documents that encompass an estate plan: 

  1. A Will
  2. A Power Of Attorney
  3. 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 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 parent or spouse situations, and changes to existing tax laws.

It is important to have an estate plan, even if you have limited assets.  In addition, 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.  Make sure to name a Guardian of minor or dependent adult children in your Will, to assure your loved ones will be cared for in the event of your passing.

Determining Beneficiaries

Determining the beneficiaries of Accounts and Contract interests that pass outside of your Will, such as life insurance, retirement accounts, pension, investment and brokerage accounts, also warrants careful consideration.  It is very important to not overlook updating the beneficiary forms for those assets as your life circumstances change.  Otherwise, individuals who you do not wish to benefit, might. This can even include divorced, former spouses in some instances, may receive some of your assets or life insurance benefits.

Federal Tax

In addition, despite the elimination of Federal Estate Tax concerns for most individuals and families, Pennsylvania is one of the few states which continue to assess Inheritance Tax on asset transfers upon an individual’s passing.  We can help you plan to reduce this tax obligation.

Estate Plan Assistance

Pyfer Reese 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.  Therefore, we can assist you in developing an estate plan for any stage of life. Whether you’re 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. We even offer home visits (if needed), to discuss the appropriate estate plan for your current life situation.

Posted in News on by Pyfer Reese.