Estate planning in advance can help to prevent later problems and complications for Pennsylvania residents after they pass away. The death of a loved one can, all too frequently, be accompanied by bitter struggles over the estate. By developing wills, trusts and other documents earlier in their life, people can help to make sure that their assets will be passed on in a way that reflects their wishes. When there is no will left behind, people can be left to debate the disposition of an estate. Resolving these complexities can be particularly important in families where ongoing disputes over money, businesses or other issues are a factor.
If people die without a will, they are considered to have died intestate and their assets will be distributed according to a statutory scheme that defines the percentages that should go to a surviving spouse, children and others. The distribution of the estate itself would take place after the probate process dealt with outstanding debts and the final tax bill of the deceased.
Estate planning can help people make a precise plan to distribute their belongings, including leaving particularly sentimental or meaningful items to specific individuals. An estate plan can not only include a will but also make use of trusts and non-probate transfer mechanisms to help keep a person’s assets out of the jurisdiction of the probate court and save potential fees as well as avoiding delays.
Working with an estate planning lawyer can help people save their loved ones from future pain and frustration. A lawyer can advise people about how they can best reflect their wishes for their assets by creating the proper documents, including wills, trusts and powers of attorney.