Pennsylvania Wills, Trusts, and Power of Attorney
An estate plan ensures you have control over your quality of life, your home and valuables, how you age, and your privacy, allowing you and your family to have some peace of mind when you have passed.
At L. Theodore Hoppe, Jr., Esquire — Attorney at Law, we create wills, trusts, and powers of attorney as primary estate planning tools to outline specific instructions on how you want your money, property, and other valued assets dispersed upon death.
A will explains what you want to happen to your estate after you pass away. It defines who will be the executor of the estate – the person who will manage the estate, pay debts, and distribute the property as specified. This document can be as broad or detailed as you wish. In a will, beneficiaries and guardians of minor children can also be named.
Setting up a trust can be beneficial for distributing specific assets or pieces of property. The benefit of a trust is that it does not go through probate as a will does. Property is still distributed at the trust maker's death, but it is done without the need for public court filings and ensures more privacy.
Types of Trusts
A revocable living trust is commonly used in estate planning. The person who creates and funds the trust is the grantor and typically acts as the directing trustee during their lifetime. The grantor may undo the trust, change its terms, and move property and assets in and out of the trust's ownership. Revocable living trusts are designed to switch to an irrevocable trust upon death.
An irrevocable living trust is legally binding on its date of designation and allows very few changes. The trust grantor funds the irrevocable living trust with property and assets, and then the trust property is under the control of the individual named as trustee. The grantor can't change their mind and "undo" the trust. Unique tax implications and other benefits to an irrevocable trust make relinquishing control worthwhile.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney is also vital to an estate plan. This legal document allows someone to legally make healthcare decisions for you. A healthcare power of attorney will remain in effect until you are able to make decisions again.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney names an agent who can act in your place for matters relating to finances. The durable financial power of attorney stays in effect if you become unable to handle your affairs. With a financial power of attorney, guardianship proceedings can be avoided. You have the final say in who will make decisions relating to your finances.
At L. Theodore Hoppe, Jr., Esquire — Attorney at Law, we've offered estate planning, elder law, family law, and business law to help people prepare for accidents, illnesses, or death for over 30 years. Contact our estate planning law firm if you need an estate planning attorney or guardianship lawyer in Media, Pennsylvania. I serve clients in Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Berks, and Bucks counties and cities, including Philadelphia, Media, Norristown, and West Chester.