When people in Pennsylvania have children, it often inspires them to create an estate plan if they had neglected the task in the past. However, individuals without children may find it just as important to plan for the distribution of their assets. For people without close relatives, the need to make these decisions can be particularly overwhelming. One of the key documents that every adult needs is an advance directive for health care. It allows people to name another person to make medical decisions in case they are incapacitated and incapable of making their own decisions about their treatment.
While it is more desirable to begin estate planning early and have a comprehensive scheme in place, it is never too late to begin the process, and a will is a good foundational document to start with. And in fact, for some Pennsylvania residents, a will may be all they need. However, estate planning can be thought of as preparing for what could happen, not necessarily what is likely to happen. A will can achieve much of what many people need, but there may be better ways to get there.
Lots of people in Pennsylvania utilize trusts as part of their estate plans. However, many still don't quite understand how a trust differs from a will.