There are several misconceptions about estate planning, including the idea that estate planning is only for the elderly. When many Pennsylvania residents hear about estate plans, making a will, and creating an advanced medical directive, they assume that it’s something that they can do later in life. If you’re trying to determine whether you need an estate plan, consider some of these factors.
The story of Tony Hsieh
On November 27, 2020, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) passed away after suffering injuries in a mysterious house fire. You’ve probably heard of his work even if you don’t recognize Hsieh’s name. He was the founder of Zappos, the online shoe retailer.
Hsieh had an estimated net worth of $840 million but died intestate (meaning without a will). One of his cousins applied to serve as executor of his estate, but the judge appointed Hsieh’s brother and father to handle his affairs. The only written plans Hsieh left behind were a series of color-coded sticky notes that he plastered on the walls of his Las Vegas mansion.
Disposition of your assets
Even if you don’t have a net worth anywhere close to Tony Hsieh’s, you probably have some assets you want to leave to people in your life. Without a will, which is an important part of estate planning, the Pennsylvania Intestacy Law determines how your assets get dispersed.
Naming personal representatives
A will is not the only important document in an estate plan. A quality estate plan also includes a medical power of attorney. This individual will make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t do so yourself.
You can also name a representative to handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated by making out a general durable power of attorney. Having these plans in place provides you with peace of mind while protecting your assets.
Do you need an estate plan? Yes, you do. These plans ensure that your medical wishes get carried out and protect your loved ones from going through a lengthy probate process. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney today.