Essential Documents for Estate Planning

June 11, 2020

It is always a good time to start planning for your future. Estate planning is an important process that allows you to make preemptive, thoughtful decisions regarding your assets and health care. By making your intentions clear with legally-binding estate planning documents, your loved ones have peace of mind knowing your wishes are respected if you become incapacitated or unexpectedly pass way.

It is never easy to think about these subjects, but with smart, focused estate planning, you can live in the moment and know that the future is taken care of.

What Estate Planning Documents do I Need?

The following list contains recommendations for essential estate planning:

  • Health care proxy: If you become too ill or otherwise incapacitated to make decisions about your medical care, the person you appoint to be your health care proxy or medical power of attorney will make those decisions for you. This is usually a partner, child, sibling, or trusted friend that is obligated to uphold your wishes as expressed in your living will.
  • Living will: A living will contains details about medical treatments and procedures you do or do not consent to during your care. This document directs family, friends, and medical providers in the event you are unable to express your wishes due to mental or physical decline or incapacitation. Your health care proxy is bound to the terms of your living will when it comes to making decisions about your care.
  • Financial power of attorney: This person is appointed to oversee and manage your assets if you become incapacitated for any reason. This can be your spouse, sibling, child, or friend. If you do not name a power of attorney, the court will appoint a guardian to act on your behalf. This may or may not be a family member.
  • Last will and testament: Your final will and testament describes how your estate will be distributed after your passing. In your will, you can name an executor to act as an administrator of your estate to ensure it is disbursed properly. If you die without a will, your estate is divided according to Pennsylvania law, which may not align with your wishes.

While these essential estate planning documents cover most of the primary decisions you need to consider for your future, it is important to note every situation is unique and requires attention. For a comprehensive estate planning consultation, contact an experienced lawyer that handles wills, trusts, and estates.

West Chester Wills and Estates Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Provide Comprehensive Estate Planning Services for Clients in Pennsylvania

Everyone benefits from smart estate planning. It is important to plan for your future and secure your assets and estates. Our West Chester wills and estates lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will provide you legal guidance to establish an effective estate plan. Call us at 610-565-3701 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.