Far too many people put off creating a last will and estate plan until they reach retirement age or after a diagnosis with a serious illness. In reality, the more assets you have and the more complex your family unit, the more important it is to create an estate plan as soon as possible. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help protect your assets, your family, and your peace of mind. After all, many people die or become incapacitated unexpectedly, due to an accident or a sudden medical event, like a stroke. Don't leave your family unprotected if the unexpected happens.
Estate planning is part of family planning
When you're looking to marry (or re-marry), creating an estate plan should be as important as planning your actual wedding. Your wedding will only last one day, but your estate will last far beyond that. In Pennsylvania, while your assets and your spouse receive some protection under the law, if you die without an estate plan or last will, your assets could be tied up in probate court for months or years. One of the best ways to ensure that you approve of the division of your assets is to create an estate plan as soon as you know your family will be growing or changing.
While it isn't as romantic as planning the location for your honeymoon, planning for your estate and your last will is important. It provides you, your spouse, your extended family, and your children with peace of mind that if something happens, the major decisions, from funeral choices to asset division, are already handled and will be carried out by your executor.
Estate plans aren't set in stone
Some people put off the creation of an estate plan because they hope their situation will soon change. Whether that's because you're planning to have children or start a business, it's not a good reason to delay creating an estate plan. Your attorney will know what language needs changes and updates as your family, finances, and business grow. It can be as simple as a single meeting with your estate planning attorney to adjust your last will, change the division of assets to include a new child, or add provisions for new assets, such as a business or investments.
Your estate planning attorney can help protect your last wishes
From planning your funeral and memorial service to ensuring division of your assets in a manner that is legal and enforceable, an estate planning attorney can help. They understand state and federal laws about inheritance and know what you can do in a last will and estate plan. They can guide you to ensure your estate plan will hold up if challenged in court. Dying without a will could harm your family or result in a division of assets that wouldn't be in line with your wishes.