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Posts tagged "Estate Planning"

The importance of updating an estate plan

Some Pennsylvania residents may feel that once they have created an estate plan, they do not have to think about it any more, but this is not the case. Estate plans need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they remain current. It can be easy to procrastinate and assume that there is always time, but this may not be the case. The film director John Singleton, who died suddenly of a stroke at 51, is a case in point.

Parents can protect their children and assets by preparing a will

The idea of dying is not something that most Pennsylvania residents like to consider. However, not making plans for what will happen after a person's death could have serious consequences. This is especially true for parents, considering the fact that if a parent does not name who they would like their children's guardian to be, the children could be placed in foster care. Clearly laying out who will receive specific assets can prevent a lot of conflict.

Beneficiary designations important to estate planning

When people in Pennsylvania plan for the future, it can be important to think about beneficiary designations as well as traditional options like writing a will. Once people have written a will or planned a trust, they may need to check to make sure their beneficiary designations are up to date and reflect their overall plans for their estate. Many types of accounts and assets do not pass through probate but are transferred on death through the naming of a beneficiary. The most well-known of these are life insurance policies, but retirement accounts, investment funds and even regular bank accounts may transfer in the same way.

Using a life insurance policy and a trust in estate planning

Some people in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia who are creating an estate plan might want to consider using a life insurance policy or a trust as part of that plan. There are a number of advantages of using the two in combination. This would involve setting up the trust as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy.

Estate plans can see to the needs of pets as well as heirs

Incorporating the needs of dogs or other companion animals in an estate plan would have raised eyebrows just a few years ago. However, pet provisions in wills and pet trusts are commonplace in Pennsylvania and around the country today. A pet of some kind can be found in two out of three American homes, and many of their owners take great comfort in knowing that their animals will be taken care of should something happen to them. However, including pets in a will may not be the wisest way to accomplish this as the probate process is lengthy and pets could languish in a shelter for several months as it runs its course.

Do-it-yourself estate planning documents may cause issues

Estate planning offers several wealth protection and asset distribution options to Pennsylvania residents. That's why many people download estate planning documents from do-it-yourself websites. Although DIY legal websites cost less money, oversights can cause problems. Many individuals do not even know if their estate plans contain errors. Plus, people who take advantage of using online services need to pay more money to consult with an attorney.

All about revival trusts

Some Pennsylvanians may have heard of cryonics -- the freezing of a person after they die in the hopes that someday their body will be revived. Though it may sound like science fiction, there are around 400 people currently being preserved in a frozen state, and some 1,500 living individuals plan to be frozen when they die. But if someone leaves all their money to heirs after they die, what happens if they are frozen and then one day revived? Anyone who is even thinking about the possibility of being cryonically preserved might want to learn about revival trusts.

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