People feel the need to get their final affairs in order at different times in life. Some people may do a little estate planning after having a baby because they want to name a guardian, and over the years, it may become apparent that more planning is needed. For some Pennsylvania residents, nearing retirement could be a catalyst to start more thorough planning.

Fortunately, creating an estate plan does not have to be a frustrating or intimidating experience. Individuals can start by inventorying their assets and liabilities and determining what they want to do about each. Parties can decide how they want their assets distributed and choose the tools they want to use to help achieve that desired outcome. Of course, remaining debts can affect the worth of an estate after a person’s passing, so understanding those liabilities is also important.

Additionally, those starting the planning process can consider what they want to handle now and what they want to take place later. For example, some people may want to gift certain assets ahead of time in efforts to reduce taxes. However, not everyone wants to take that approach. Some parties may think that distributing everything later will work out for the best.

Each person will have his or her own journey when estate planning, and having a plan can help avoid issues in the future. It is important, though, to fully understand the tools being used and the effects certain terms will have on surviving loved ones. As a result, Pennsylvania residents may want to gain reliable information and support from local legal resources.