The time to have a plan for protecting your family comes long before you need it. Many families think that Wills and Trusts are only necessary if you have very high incomes or a lot of assets. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. A quality estate plan helps you provide for your minor children, defines how your estate will be distributed, and provides specific guidance for your family regarding your medical care if you become unable to speak for yourself.
If you do not create an estate plan, then Pennsylvania has a specific set of rules for how your assets will be distributed. This may or may not reflect your wishes. If you did not designate someone to act on your behalf through a Power of Attorney, then your family will be forced to go to court if you suddenly become disabled and are unable to speak for yourself. Likewise, if you do not specify your wishes for medical treatment or end-of-life care, your loved ones will be asked to make those decisions for you. Not only is it possible that they won’t know your wishes, but they will also have to make those decisions during a challenging and traumatic moment. Having an estate plan in advance takes the uncertainty out of the decisions your family will have to make.
Before crafting an estate plan, we start by identifying who it is that you want to protect, and then we develop a plan to do so. This may involve a simple Will, or it may involve setting up a Special Needs Trust for your disabled child. We take the time to first identify your goals, and then go through your options for how to achieve them. The proper estate plan changes over the years as your family changes. Divorce, re-marriage, and the birth and adoption of other children all create reasons to review your plan. We stay with you over the years and help you continue to protect those closest to you.
Pittsburgh Family Law Services, P.C. provides legal guidance and advocacy to individuals in family law and estate planning matters. To find out how we can help you, please contact us.