Estate planning is a valuable tool for Pennsylvania residents

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Wednesday, December 24, 2014.

Estate planning has a stigma of only being applicable to the wealthy, but that is a misconception. Estate planning is a valuable way to plan how a person would want his or her affairs to be settled in the event that the person passes away. There are several different ways that a Pennsylvania resident can choose to plan an estate.

The most common form of estate planning is a will. A will allows the maker to detail their assets and how the assets are to be divided after the maker's death. For monetary assets, trusts exist as a way to divide wealth and provide opportunities for ensuring some tax breaks.

Another option when considering estate planning is known as gifting. Through gifting, the benefactor can make monetary gifts throughout the person's life to one or more beneficiaries. Often, proper planning can result in these gifts being tax-free.

Additionally, estate planning gives a person the opportunity to set up advance directives. These directives are essentially plans for the person's family to follow in the event that the person becomes incapacitated due to an accident or suffers an illness or other medical condition under circumstances where he or she is no longer able to make their specific wishes known. Two common types of advance directives include power of attorney, known as a healthcare proxy, and a living will.

While this blog post very briefly detailed various aspects of estate planning and how it can be beneficial for any Pennsylvania resident, estate planning is a very complex process. Luckily, for those seeking guidance, professional help is available. Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys can provide invaluable insight and support throughout each step of the process.

Source:, "Money Talk: From wills to trusts to gifting, estate planning applies to everyone", Erin Eddins, Dec. 22, 2014


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