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Estate planning isn’t just about preparing for the end

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2021 | Estate Planning |

People in the Gettysburg area may put off estate planning in part because it is not pleasant to think about dying. Although it can be a hard process emotionally, creating an estate plan which includes a will or trust early, and updating it often can save loved ones a lot of confusion and heartache by clearly stating how a person wants her wealth distributed after death.

Good estate plans also ensure that a person’s loved ones, or even favorite charities, get as much of a person’s wealth as possible without dealing with the drag of unnecessary probate expenses, taxes and other costs.

But estate planning is not just about what happens after a person dies. A quality estate plan will also anticipate a person’s needs as he ages and starts to require additional medical and personal care.

Powers of attorney and health care directives can ensure sound decisions

 For example, like other states, Pennsylvania allows its resident to use a power of attorney to appoint a trusted person, called an attorney-in-fact, to handle the resident’s financial affairs.

The attorney-in-fact can assist the person with daily finances or more significant transactions. He or she can also take over completely if the person is no longer able to make financial decisions on her own.

In a similar vein, a health care directive in Pennsylvania allows a person to appoint someone to make medical decisions if the person himself cannot do so. These decisions can even involve matters of life and death.

Addressing the cost of long-term care is also a goal of estate planning

 An estate plan may also include a strategy for people to address the cost of long-term care like a nursing home stay or visits from an in-home medical professional. If not carefully planned for, the cost of this care can eat up much of a person’s fortune. Figuring out the best way to address this cost is a service an attorney with elder law experience can offer.