In a person’s lifetime, there are bound to be a set of people that he or she has grown very close to. These individuals may be a person’s family members, close friends or mentors. Part of being human is accepting our own mortality and perhaps deciding to plan for the time in which we are no longer here. It can be heart-aching to imagine not being here along with your cherished loved ones. However, it is key that an estate plan is established in order to continue on your legacy how you so wish. If a person were to pass on and not have created an estate plan, then his or her assets may have to be distributed based on state law. It is crucial to the future of your loved ones to create a document that lists what your assets are, and to whom you wish these specific items or monetary awards go to.
In the article below, we have provided more information about estate planning through a question and answer format. Please read here to find out more about how to get started writing the first draft of your estate plan.
Which family members should receive a part of my assets?
This answer may be different for everyone, as relationship dynamics are not the same for all. It may be a good idea to get started writing your estate plan by compiling a list of people who you cherish the most. In general, people commonly choose those who have meant something very special to them in their life. For some, these people may be their children, best friends and mentors. To others, these people could be their immediate family members and an organization they are passionate about.
Is not listing someone in my will going to ensure they do not receive assets?
Unfortunately, leaving a person out of your will does not guarantee he or she will not receive a part of your assets after you pass away. It is always possible that an upset family member petitions to the court regarding your estate plan, and demands that they are owed a certain portion of your legacy. It may not be enough to simply leave a person out of your will, but instead write a statement which intentionally excludes him or her from being awarded anything.
Is there any reason I need to meet with an attorney about my estate plan?
A large percentage of people actually do meet with a legal professional who is familiar with estate planning, to get some advice and valuable input. By having an estate lawyer Allentown, PA trusts read over the final draft of your estate plan, it can help bring to light any potential problems with what you have written so far. The right attorney should be knowledgeable and kind too, as this can be a very stressful task to accomplish. With legal guidance, you can feel more confident that your estate plan can probably withstand any sort of petition or scrutiny on behalf of the legal system about validity.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning.