Everybody talks about death and retirement and taxes, but nobody talks about all three topics in one discussion. In addition, few people want to talk about a legal process that could happen 20 or more years in the future. However, every person and family has to discuss the importance of estate planning in Pennsylvania and get the family members involved.
Explain the process
Many people do not understand the basics of estate planning. Start by explaining the most common terms and legal concepts that are used, such as will, trust, power of attorney and beneficiary. Most importantly, discuss the step-by-step process of going through probate court to prove a will.
Explain your decisions
The next step is to explain the decisions made for your personalized estate plan. Go over the details of your will, including the executor and list of beneficiaries, and any other agreement, including powers of attorney. Explain the steps that your executor will take after your death.
At some point, you’ll want to mention if your family members are listed as beneficiaries. Explain the rights of beneficiaries and how they can contest a will in court. In general, they need to receive copies of the legal documents and immediately be notified after your death.
Starting the conversation
There are just as many myths about estate planning as there are truths. People who believe that they have to go through probate court may realize that they could have avoided the process if you had a trust or accounts with beneficiary designations. You save a considerable amount of time and headaches by discussing your estate plan with your family.