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Blue Bell Probate and Estate Administration Law Blog

Tag: Estate Plan

Estate planning for those who are unmarried

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Estate Planning on Dec 10, 2014.

When considering estate planning, many Pennsylvania residents focus on creating a system to handle the distribution of their accumulated assets to one’s chosen heirs. However, this focus is not universal, as there are many individuals who are unmarried and have no children. For these individuals, estate planning needs take a different form, and they often center on making sure that one’s end-of-life needs are taken care of. This involves the creation of a set of documents that assign various responsibilities to carefully selected individuals. Among these is an advance health care directive, which clearly outlines the type of medical treatment that an individual wants to undergo in the event of a serious illness or injury. These planning tools can be general, such as stating that one does not wish for excessive lifesaving methods to be employed if there is no chance of extending a high quality of life. These directives can also be incredibly detailed, allowing individuals to list specific treatments to which they do not want to be subjected. Another type of directive is the designation of a health care power of attorney. This is a document that lists the name(s) of the person(s) tasked with making one’s health care decision in the event that an individual becomes incapacitated. The same level of responsibility can be assigned to financial matters through the use of a general power of attorney. Single Pennsylvania residents should consider how to structure a simple estate planning package that meets their unique needs. End-of-life planning […]

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Reasons to avoid last minute estate planning

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Estate Planning on Dec 2, 2014.

When considering how to structure one’s final wishes, there are a number of valid reasons to take care of such matters long before the needs arises. That said, many in Pennsylvania will postpone the creation of an estate planning package far too long, under the assumption that there will always be time to address these matters. In reality, however, time is something that none of has has any control over, and the events that define our lives often play out without our active participation. When it comes to estate planning, waiting to the last minute can lead to a poor outcome for those left behind. Consider, for example, an individual who is unexpectedly diagnosed with a terminal illness. Upon hearing such news, the normal course of one’s life will be immediately and forever altered. Attention will turn to making important medical decisions, as well as organizing end-of-life care. Most importantly, spending time with loved ones will become a top priority. For those who have to add estate planning to this list, an added level of stress will result. As with all significant decisions, incorporating a high degree of stress and pressure is not the best way to create an estate plan that meets an individual’s goals. It is easy to become wrapped up in the moment and make choices that are not rational or fully thought out. In addition, going through medical procedures and taking various medications can also have an impact on one’s decision-making. This leads to a final […]

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