No matter how old you are, it is a good idea to start formulating your estate plan. Doing so may make it easier to manage your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated or pass assets to beneficiaries after your death. Estate plans can also be helpful if you live in Pennsylvania but own property in other states.
Figure out what your estate planning goals are
The first step in creating an estate plan is to determine what you want it to accomplish. This is a time to think about who may be best suited to be an executor or to act as a trustee. You will also want to consider who is qualified to be a guardian to your children if you were to die or become incapacitated. Making a list of your current assets and liabilities can make it easier to determine whether you should create a trust or stick to a basic will.
What to think about when creating a trust
You can change the terms of a living trust or revoke it entirely as long as you are of sound mind. Assets inside of an irrevocable trust are controlled by the trustee, and the process of changing or terminating that trust can be complicated.
Review Your Plan Regularly
It is important to review your estate plan whenever a significant life event takes place. These could include a divorce, birth of a grandchild or a change in your income. It can also be a good idea to take a look at your plan every two to three years even if your circumstances haven’t changed.
If you want to learn more about creating or reviewing an estate plan, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to talk more about the estate planning process or best practices for reviewing plan documents that already exist.