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Lebanon Pennsylvania Family & Estate Law Blog

Estate planning for the blended family

Everybody has a complicated family. For some that means drama or estrangement. For many, it means divorce, remarriage, and blended families. TV shows like Modern Family highlight that detail today, but it’s a long-running American concept – just think back to old episodes of The Brady Bunch.

Blended families are common. More than half of US families are blended, Forbes reports. When it comes to our autumn years and estate planning, it’s important to consider each family’s dynamics, and to make sure that the will or trust doesn’t have any loopholes or open ends. With an estate plan, you should plan for the worst – not because that it likely to happen, but to make sure that you have a process defined just in case. Given the complexity of blended families, that’s even more important.

Choosing the right executor for your will

Planning for your end-of-life needs is something many people tend to put off. It’s an uncomfortable topic that most people would prefer to avoid talking about. However, if you have a spouse, children or grandchildren, having a will and an estate plan is an important part of caring for the future needs of your loved ones.

When you’re creating your will, one of the decisions in the process is choosing an executor. The executor is the person or third party you designate to administer your will according to your wishes after you pass. An executor has considerable responsibilities, so you’ll want to choose wisely.

Deciding between revocable and irrevocable trusts

When you reach retirement age, you may begin thinking substantially about the many assets you have acquired throughout your lifetime. You know that you want to gift specific assets to certain loved ones, but you are unsure whether a permanent or changeable trust will prove best for your situation.

Two types of trust exist in Pennsylvania for allocating assets to your family members and close friends. Both revocable and irrevocable trusts have benefits, but they both provide peace of mind to those that enact a trust. Creating a document that protects and allocates your assets constitutes a responsible decision, so you and your beneficiaries can find comfort in knowing your property lies securely in a legal documentation. When developing a trust, it may prove beneficial to utilize the expertise of an estate planning attorney, so that he or she can help you in determining the best trust for your unique situation.

What happens to your debts when you die?

When you plan an estate, you think about every detail from who inherits the house to who speaks for you in case of a medical emergency. However, we rarely think about who takes over our debt after we pass away.

Between mortgages, student loans and credit card debt, it is unclear who is responsible for any debts left behind. Many people worry about debt being passed on to family members, but it is typically more complicated.

Asset protection plans ward off potential lawsuits, creditors

Protecting your assets as well as your family legacy should be a vital part of solid estate planning. By creating an asset protection (or preservation) plan, you will ensure that your wealth and property are safe from any potential lawsuits or creditors.

You never wanted to be a financial burden to your family so that such planning will provide peace of mind to you and them. In establishing an asset protection plan, you can protect your family in ways that may include providing assets to a surviving spouse; maintaining assets to pay for your medical care or long-term care, and providing an inheritance to your heirs and beneficiaries.

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522 S 8th Street
Lebanon, PA 17042

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