Planning for the future is something that every Pennsylvania adult should consider doing sooner rather than later. Even those who do not have significant assets could benefit from even basic estate planning. However, simply signing some documents is not enough to make sure that a plan does what an individual intends it to do.
Understanding what each document does, along with any steps needed in order for each of them to fulfill their purpose, is crucial to the process. Far too many individuals, including some here in Pennsylvania, fail to take the next steps after executing the documents, which could make them useless. For example, property needs to be transferred into a trust in order to receive the protections the document provides.
Some property such as personal and household effects may only need mentioning in a trust for those items to transfer into the trust. However, other items such as real estate require additional documentation, often a quit claim deed, in order to transfer it into the trust. Financial accounts, automobiles and similar assets will also need a transfer of title. Some people may want to list the trust as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement account.
Determining the best way to prepare for the future requires an understanding of the estate planning options that work best for a particular individual and family. Several people could use the same types of documents, but when it comes to the details, those often change. For instance, what works for one person may not work for another, so it is beneficial to discuss the matter with an attorney experienced in this area of law before making any decisions.