5 Estate Planning Terms You Should Be Familiar With
November 26, 2021

Planning for your future beyond retirement may seem lightyears away, so it can be easy to put aside and keep other goals at the forefront of your mind. But preparing for your later years can do wonders for ensuring financial stability for your family, especially when it involves something as complex as estate planning.

Estate planning requires the dedicated assistance of a lawyer since it’s a complex topic. A seasoned estate planning lawyer can guide you through the process, but in the meantime, it can be helpful to learn some estate planning terms so you can have a greater understanding of the many moving parts involved.

Important Estate Planning Terms You Should Know

1. Beneficiary

One of the most important terms that will pop up frequently in estate planning is ‘beneficiary.’ A beneficiary describes the person to whom you plan to entrust some or all your assets. Without stating who your beneficiaries are, there’s a risk of putting your family through difficult court hearings in the future if you have not defined your wishes for asset allocation.  In some situations, you will name a primary beneficiary and an alternate beneficiary.

2. Codicil

Many responsible adults plan for their will and testament early on, but when major life changes happen along the way, a codicil plays a crucial role in amending, adding, or tweaking parts or all of your will’s contents. If you already have a will and need to make room for changes involving birth, death, marriage, or divorce with a loved one, then a codicil is a term you will encounter.

3. Decedent

A decedent is the legal term for someone who has passed away. The term decedent plays a role in estate planning since it highlights the wishes outlined in a will.

4. Durable Power of Attorney (POA)

Everyone strives to reach old age with a clear state of mind, but if an individual can no longer make decisions on their own, then a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is the one who takes charge and has the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf.

5. Trust, Trustee, and Trustor

When planning for a will, there are three terms likely to be included: the Trust, which is the legal estate planning document. The Trustor is responsible for giving a Trustee authority to manage assets for your beneficiaries and administer the contents of your Trust.

Why Estate Planning is Important

Discussing life after your death is undoubtedly a difficult and distant topic, but estate planning can help you achieve security in more ways than one—from confirming the best guardians for minor children, lowering taxes to increase your family’s savings, to guaranteeing your estate is given to the family members you chose.

Are You Looking for a Reliable Estate Planning Attorney in Pennsylvania?

Working with an estate planning attorney in Pennsylvania can help you navigate and simplify the entire estate planning process, so you can rest easy knowing your assets are protected and a solid plan is in place.

With years of experience in estate planning, estate mediation and estate administration, the team at Daley Zucker, LLC can help with every aspect of the process. Contact us today at (717) 971-8719.

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