It is officially holiday season, which means crisp mornings and family gatherings. Although holiday dinners are lighthearted, it is also a good time to bring up important topics while the family is together, such as estate planning. This important topic is best discussed in person, not in a group text.
Estate planning will help your loved ones avoid a confrontation, legal battle, and unnecessary expenses. It ensures that someone that you trust will be in charge of your estate.
Most financial experts agree that estate planning conversations are best implemented sooner rather than later to escape an unpleasant situation. If an estate plan has already been crafted, the holiday season would be an ideal time to update family members so that they are aware of how your estate will be divided. Even if the topic is not brought up on Thanksgiving, there should be a yearly meeting to inform your loved ones about your current estate plan.
What Should Be Discussed?
The following are topics that should be covered when planning your estate:
- Who will help you during a health crisis. It is important to discuss the primary person who will make medical decisions and provide hands-on care.
- A plan that details what your loved ones can expect in a medical emergency. Explaining your wishes to your family is important. It will lessen the burden on them should you become incapacitated or pass away.
- A health care proxy that appoints a health care agent to make medical decisions.
- A living will that documents your wishes.
Even though these topics are important, prepare for some resistance. Some family members will want to avoid sensitive topics.
Think About Probate
The holiday season is centered on family, and you should make sure your family will be cared for after your passing. This is one reason why it is important to discuss estate planning during the holidays while everyone is together.
You should also think about probate-avoidance. Probate is a court proceeding, conducted after someone has passed, that gives your executor authority to pay your debts and taxes and handover your assets to the inheritors. However, probate can be costly, and it can take time. Many people prefer to avoid it altogether.
A living trust will help avoid probate, but it is important to take care of this while you are alive. After you have passed, your family will not be able to avoid probate of your estate.
Media Wills and Estates Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Can Help You Carefully Craft an Estate Plan
Our Media wills and estates lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you customize an estate plan that suits you and your family’s needs. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Call us at 610-565-3701 or complete our online form for an initial consultation today.