What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?
November 25, 2021

“What happens when we die?”

Life after death has long been the age-old question. However, despite the emergence of new technologies, man still can’t uncover one of the largest mysteries looming over humanity.

Scientists, religious leaders, and ordinary individuals have argued about the existence of life after death. While we probably won’t be able to see the end of this debate, there is one thing every person in the world can agree on.

Despite everyone’s background and belief, no person would deny that when we die, we will leave our possessions and loved ones behind when we die. This leads to the question of, “what estate planning documents do I need?” 

Leaving a Legacy After Death

It is important to consider estate planning and work with an estate lawyer to prepare for what happens after your death. Death is a difficult topic, but it is a conversation that should be discussed if you want to be sure that everything you own, or your “estate,” goes to the loved ones you intend. Settling your affairs while you are alive can help avoid lengthy and costly consequences for your loved ones.

Estate Planning Documents You Should Have

Many believe that estate planning only involves drafting a will with an estate attorney, but it actually consists of a longer process that requiring several documents. To make certain that all your assets are transferred to your heirs without any problems, you should have a carefully constructed plan, complete with all of the paperwork you need.

If you are having trouble making sense of estate planning, don’t worry! We’ve compiled a list of the key documents you should have when preparing your estate plan. See below to find out what they are:

Will and Trust

The will or trust lays out who you want to give your assets to when you die and ensures the proper distribution of your assets. This document can be drawn up at any time, but we recommend drawing up a will as early as you can.

Power of Attorney

Drafting a power of attorney (POA) is crucial, as it allows an assigned agent to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so. If you do not have a POA, the court may be left to decide what happens to your assets should you become incapacitated, which may not be in agreement with your wishes.

Beneficiary Designations 

Some of your possessions may be passed to your heirs without being included in a will. As such, you should maintain a beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary for assets like insurance plans and 401k. Otherwise, the court will decide the fate of your funds.

Guardianship Designations

If you have children who are minors or plan to have kids, it’s crucial to choose a guardian who will take care of them once you die. Young families rarely consider guardianships, but people do die unexpectedly, and this is an important decision that can impact how your children are raised in your absence.

Need More Help with Your Estate Planning Documents?

If you have a family, you want to ensure that they live a good life, whether together with you or otherwise. With proper estate planning, you and your loved ones can live with peace of mind knowing that they will be well-taken care of no matter what the future holds.

Do you need help with your estate planning? Our legal team at Daley Zucker may just be the right people for the job! Our firm is home to some of the best estate attorneys in Pennsylvania, who you can count on to answer your questions and walk you through the estate planning process.

Reach out to us today to learn more about our services.

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