A person engaged in estate planning may spend significant time thinking about how to draw up a will. Time spent on estate planning should involve making sure the will is legally sound in the state of Pennsylvania and that the contents of the document meet heirs’ expectations. The unhappiness of the heirs with a will’s contents might lead to challenges, which is something the testator (the person making the will) is obviously hoping to avoid.
Determining what to leave to heirs
When leaving an heir a home, it might be wise to discuss such a decision with the beneficiary in advance. A home comes with responsibilities, and the beneficiary might not be able to care for the house for a variety of reasons. Insuring the property and paying the taxes factor into those responsibilities. If the beneficiary were to sell the house precipitously to a cash buyer simply to unload it, or fail to maintain it so it falls into disrepair, he or she might end up disposing of the property for far less than its actual worth.
Transferring the house to a relative before passing away could create tax or other issues. Perhaps there are better options to explore, and discussing them with an attorney might be advisable.
Looking at a beneficiary’s situation
Are there any items to which your heirs attach sentimental value? Leaving such gifts to the appropriate beneficiaries might be the right move. Leaving artwork, a vehicle, or a treasured heirloom to the “wrong” beneficiary who ends up selling it could greatly upset another.
Writing and planning a will doesn’t necessarily involve keeping everything secret. Informing beneficiaries of your decisions might be a wise move. Discussing such steps with an attorney could lead to making appropriate determinations about what to disclose to your heirs.
An estate planning attorney can help with drawing up a will. Your lawyer can do more than make sure the document adheres to state law. Consulting with an attorney will help give you direction about how to leave your assets to the appropriate beneficiaries with a minimum of fuss, to make sure that your wishes are carried out.