When you die intestate, or without a will, in Pennsylvania, it means the responsibility of distributing your assets and settling any liabilities falls on the state. This may lead to delays and other hardships for those you love. However, you may be able to reduce these delays and eliminate associated hardships by creating a simple, three-part estate plan.
Per Bankrate, creating a simple, straightforward estate plan may not take as much time or money as you may think. Instead, you may be able to create one with relative ease that helps you accomplish some of the most pertinent estate planning objectives. If you have no estate plan to speak of, consider creating one that contains the following.
1. A will
Arguably the most fundamental and important part of any estate plan, a will lets you say who you want to take ownership of specific assets after you die.
2. A financial power of attorney
A financial power of attorney is a legal document giving someone else the right to manage your financial affairs. Having a financial power of attorney in place reduces the risk of your beneficiaries losing some of what you leave behind to fees, fines or interest.
3. An advance health care directive
An advance health care directive is a document that lists your wishes when it comes to your personal medical care. It only comes into play if you become incapacitated in some manner and are unable to express your desires yourself.
If you have specific estate planning objectives, you may be able to use other estate planning components, such as trusts, to accomplish them. However, having these three elements in your plan may lead to many benefits down the line, not only for you but for your loved ones.