Most people do not realize that everyone over the age of 18 years already has an estate plan. Pennsylvania Intestate laws govern what happens to your things after death. However, the plan that the state has laid out in the laws of intestacy may not match an individual’s wishes. A properly drafted and executed plan from an experienced estate planning attorney can replace the state’s plan and allow you to express your own intent, and ensure all your wishes get carried out after death.
A Last Will and Testament has no authority until after death. It is a way for you to lay out your wishes so that your assets are not distributed based on the state’s laws of intestacy. In a Last Will and Testament, you can name an executor someone you trust to manage your estate after your death. You also can make specific bequests, or designate items to certain people. If you are a parent with minor children, you can name guardians to care for your children after death. A Last Will and Testament serves many purposes as part of a complete estate plan; however, it does not help an estate avoid probate.
A Financial Power of Attorney names a person to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. It essentially gives another individual the right to sign your name. The Power of Attorney terminates upon the death of the maker. A properly drafted Power of Attorney is essential in order to have someone carry out your wishes when you are unable to do so yourself due to lack of capacity.
A Health Care Representative document allows you to name the person you want to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions on your own. A Health Care Representative’s power terminates upon your death or if you have a living will.
A Living Will allows you to express your wishes about artificially supplied nutrition and hydration.
The Hill Group LLC is one of the top estate planning firms in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Our experienced estate planning lawyer has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in helping clients protect their assets, provide for their families, and plan for the future. As the top estate attorney in Johnstown, I prioritize personalized attention for clients, ensuring precise legal document preparation that aligns with their unique wishes and needs.