Stroudsburg Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning can seem daunting, but it is extremely important for people of all ages to consider drafting a will, naming an executor of the estate, and drafting other estate planning documents. Much too often, people assume that they have more than enough time to deal with estate planning and decide to put it off. Given that estate planning can save your family members time, money, and emotional tension, it is always a good idea to have your estate in order. To be clear, estate planning is not just something for older adults to consider, or for those who have severe or terminal illnesses. Almost everyone can benefit from estate planning.
If you have questions about getting started, an experienced Stroudsburg estate planning lawyer can speak with you today.
Why Should I Consider Estate Planning in Stroudsburg?
Estate planning can help you to ensure that matters are handled according to your plans after your death, and it can also help to ensure that your family members are not burdened with various financial and legal matters. If you fail to deal with various estate planning issues and do not have any surviving family members, Pennsylvania’s laws of intestate succession could result in your property going to the Commonwealth instead of to a person or entity of your choosing. Even if you do have surviving family members, these laws can make it much more complicated for your family to deal with the administration of your estate.
Yet estate planning is not just about wills. It is also about making decisions concerning your health, and who will make financial and health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.
How Does Probate Work, and What is an Executor or Executrix of a Stroudsburg Estate?
If you are dealing with estate planning issues, then you may know about something called “probate.” Probate is simply the process through which a person’s estate (his or her assets and liabilities) are handled. This often means distributing property to heirs or beneficiaries, and paying off any debts that are owed. When you make a will, you will typically name an executor (male) or executrix (female) to administer your estate. Sometimes this person is referred to as the “personal representative.”
Under Pennsylvania law, some assets can “skip” probate, which means they do not have to go through this process, and small estates that do not contain assets of more than $50,000 can go through a simplified probate process. The executor is also responsible for paying any estate taxes that are owed.
Advance Health Care Directives and Other Estate Planning Consideration
Beyond writing a will and naming an executor, estate planning also typically involves drafting advance directives, which can include a living will and a healthcare power of attorney. Through a living will, a person outlines their wishes for medical treatment (or lack thereof) in case they cannot make the decision themselves due to incapacity.
A healthcare power of attorney names another party to make healthcare decisions for the drafter on the drafter’s behalf in the event that the drafter is incapacitated and cannot make a decision for herself. There are also other types of powers of attorney, including financial ones through which the drafter can name another party to make financial decisions.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney in Stroudsburg
Do you have questions about getting started on estate planning? A dedicated Stroudsburg estates lawyer can discuss your options today. Contact Needle Law Firm to learn more.