What are the benefits of setting up an estate plan?

An estate plan can help people in Pennsylvania protect their assets after death, but what exactly does it entail?

People in Pennsylvania want to ensure the continued health of their families in any situation. For many, the question arises as to how to ensure, after someone's death, that all of his or her assets are properly divided, while minimizing the stress placed on surviving family and beneficiaries. One option that exists for families to legally arrange all of this is known as an Estate Plan.

What is an estate plan?

Estate planning can involve a number of different particular legal forms, such as a last will and testament, a living trust or a "payable on death" bank account. Estate planning involves planning what will happen to someone's interest in a business after his or her death. If there are particular individuals someone wants to ensure will receive all of his or her estate, he or she can designate any number of such people. Another big part of estate planning is reducing taxes on someone's estate and minimizing assets lost through expenses.

Specific benefits of an estate plan

There are a lot of ways in which an estate plan can improve people's lives, from family to charitable organizations. The following list contains some things that can be arranged through an estate plan:

· Small business owners can set up a plan for orderly continuation and succession for who has stake in their companies.

· Planning an estate also involves minimizing the amount of money that will get taxed and allowing beneficiaries to receive the most possible.

· Some people choose to support a religious or charitable organization by listing it as a beneficiary.

· In order to properly simplify estate administration, reduce the burden on surviving family and save money, it is necessary to select someone to be the executor/trustee of an estate.

It is also important to remember that an estate plan prepares for mental incapacity and decisions to be made if someone is on life support as well.

What happens without an estate plan?

Pennsylvania state law determines who will inherit somebody's assets upon his or her death. A list will be established to designate a ranking of inheritors. Life insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, bank accounts, investments and personal property all constitute an estate, and without a living trust or a will, it will be up to the state to determine who receives what.

If someone in Pennsylvania is considering estate planning as an option to get a better sense of security regarding his or her assets and possessions, he or she may find it helpful to consult an attorney in the local area who practices family law.