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Don't have an estate plan? Here's the minimum you need

The problem with death and incapacitating health conditions is we never know when they're going to happen. Indeed, death can happen at any moment, and if you haven't finalized your estate plan, you're running the risk of leaving your family with a large and difficult burden.

Let's say you ride your bike to work every day, but one day, you get into a fatal accident on your way home. Because you never finalized your will, Pennsylvania intestacy laws will govern the distribution of your assets and the finalization of your will. The distribution of your assets might not happen in the way you'd have wanted, though, and your family will be forced to deal with unnecessary complications, costs and legal issues.

Here are the minimum estate planning components you need.

In order to save your family stress, money and unnecessary difficulty, there are three primary estate planning steps you should take care of:

-- Set up a living will: A living will offers direction in the event that you become severely incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. Your family might fall into argument over the proper way to administer medical care. Some may argue to keep you on life support, for example, while others may feel it's more humane to take you off life support. A living will gives direction in these kind of circumstances.

-- A will: A will is extremely important for parents because your will allows you to state who will take care of your children after you're gone. A will also determines the distribution of your assets to heirs. Drafting a basic and simple will with the assistance of a lawyer is fast and inexpensive. At the bare minimum, everyone should have a simple will on file.

-- Life insurance: There are a lot of different life insurance options available. Some are affordable and other are more expensive. The bottom line is that if you're providing for your family financially, you don't want them to be in trouble in the event that you die and they lose your contribution to family income. Having a basic life insurance policy can do wonders to ensure that your family's transition is as easy as possible following your death.

Contact a lawyer for your estate planning needs

In order to fulfill the bare bone requirements of a basic estate plan, Pennsylvania residents can talk with a local estate planning lawyer. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process of completing your estate plan in the most cost-effective and time-efficient manner possible.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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