Estate Planning in Canonsburg, PA

Why Estate Planning is Imperative

Elder law, Medicaid, wills, trusts, power of attorney, guardianship- unless you live under a rock, you have most likely heard of these terms. While many Americans are familiar with the concept of 'estate planning,' few actually have an estate plan in place.

According to a news release by the NAEPC Education Foundation, only 35% of Americans report having a will in place and only 21% have set up a trust. The Foundation went on to say, "It is estimated that 120,000,000 Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves and their families in the event of sickness, accidents, or untimely death."

Why is it so dangerous to not have an estate plan in place? To explain it simply: if you fail to set one up and you pass away unexpectedly, it will be your loves one's that have to pay the price. Also, an estate plan kicks into effect after you have an accident or suffer from an illness that leaves you incapacitated. In other words, it can benefit your future as well.

To elaborate when individuals don't set up estate plans and get into serious accidents, it is not uncommon for loved ones to be uncertain about their family's members healthcare preferences and dying wishes. This can create additional anxiety for your family and can result in you not getting the medical care you would desire. Your legacy is everything and your family will want to protect it at all costs, but it is up to you to inform them about what your specific wishes are.

Estate plans answer questions such as, who will take care of my kids if I die? Who will pay the bills? Who will take care of my pets? Who will run my business? If you do not establish an estate plan, all of your loved ones will have to go to probate court. If everyone agrees on these major decisions, the process can go relatively smoothly. When this does not happen, however (which is not uncommon), the process can quickly become quite complex, overwhelming and expensive. The court also has to get heavily involved which means personal, sentimental decisions that could have been largely handled by your family will instead be dictated by judges and court orders.

In short, the money you can save by not making an estate plan is not worth it, compared to the conflict and anxiety you could cause your family. For more information about estate planning and why it is important you create an estate plan, contact KWK today!

Your legacy is everything. If you fail to take steps to protect your assets now, your loved ones will deal with the financial headache later. While nobody tends to view estate planning in a positive light, taking this important life step will make sure your money stays in the hands of your loved ones.

While more than half of Americans don't have a will in place, having this document in place is essential as it allows you to name an executor of your estate whom you trust to distribute your assets (rather than forcing the courts to name an administrator). Through estate planning you can also establish a living trust, which can help you bypass probate entirely.

Estate planning also allows you to designate power of attorney as well, or in other words, it allows you to choose whom you wish to handle matters on your behalf, in the event that you become ill. Financial power of attorney allows someone to handle your finances whereas medical power of attorney allows an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf.

Estate planning also allows you to inform loved ones of your wishes concerning end-of-life preferences. An attorney can help you set up an advance directive which puts into writing all of these important requests. Estate planning not only protects your future, it protects your present. A well-crafted estate plan will shield your assets from lawsuits and save you on taxes each year.

Why start the process of estate planning today? Waiting to take this important step could cause havoc in your family's lives if catastrophe were to strike unexpectedly. You can never be too prepared. Estate planning can allow you to make these important decisions today:

  • What should be done if you were to become incapacitated
  • What should happen to your kids or spouse if something tragic happens to you
  • What nursing home you would like to be placed into and other Medicaid decisions
  • What ways you can best protect your assets from death taxes, probate, etc. For example, you can learn how giving to charities or loved ones now can protect your assets!

Your loved ones and your possessions are the legacy you will leave behind. Start planning smartly now to leave behind the best possible legacy! At KWK we handle a wide range of estate planning related issues including asset protection, business formation, elder law, probate, probate administration and social security disability.