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estate administration & probate Archives

3 estate planning mistakes to avoid

While the worst mistake a person can make is having no estate plan in place at all, many other mistakes will prevent your estate from being administered correctly, or they can even harm your loved ones or cause contention in your family. Along with professional legal guidance, the following tips can help you create a solid plan that your family can live with.

Estate planning from a parent’s perspective

People set up estate plans for different reasons. Some people wish to support a cause they strongly believe in by passing down assets, while others want to ensure that their marital partner will have the financial resources they need should they become widowed. However, estate planning matters can be especially important for parents. As a parent, you likely have a number of concerns when it comes to your child’s future, but there may be certain ways to find reassurance that they will have the resources they need, such as including them in your estate plan.

Talking with family members about your will after a divorce

The end of a marriage can have an impact on an entire family in many ways. For example, in-laws may no longer see their loved one’s former spouse and kids may spend less time with one of their parents. There are other ways in which filing for a divorce can affect loved ones, however. For example, someone who has a will may need to make a number of revisions to their estate plan after they move on from their spouse. Moreover, it may be necessary to discuss your estate plan with relatives after your divorce.

Steps for an estate executor

People in Pennsylvania who have been appointed executor of an estate might wonder what their duties are. The job of an executor is to locate the will and any other relevant estate planning documents, locate and protect assets, pay creditors and taxes, and distribute assets to beneficiaries. This is a significant responsibility, and an executor may want to work with an attorney throughout the process.

Tough tasks of the executor in estate administration

Pennsylvania residents who go through the sometimes difficult task of estate planning deserve the thanks of their spouses and beneficiaries. However, they may not be deserving of such thanks from the executor of their will. This individual often faces many tasks that can sound simple enough when stated but are made difficult through poor planning. The testator who goes to great lengths to keep assets out of probate and limit the burdens faced by heirs can also make the executor's job easier with a few extra steps.

What to know about beneficiary designations

It isn't uncommon for Pennsylvania residents to overlook beneficiary designations when they are making an estate plan. This may be because they are but one of numerous decisions that a person must make when setting up a retirement or brokerage account. In some cases, many years may go by before such a designation is reviewed. In that time period, it is possible that a person's needs have changed significantly.

Handling a decedent's social media accounts

When Pennsylvania residents die, their executors or administrators may want to know more about the best way to handle their social media accounts. Although the fate of a social media handle may seem to be a trivial thing at a time when there may be so many major issues to address, the timely resolution of a loved one's account may ultimately be in the best interests of all concerned.

Did you forget to include Fido in your estate plan?

When you think about estate planning, the usual questions come to mind: what happens to your money or property when you pass away, who should be named a guardian for your minor children or what kind of funeral arrangements you prefer. There are some common mistakes you want to avoid, however, such as forgetting to plan for the wellbeing of your pets or the handling of your social media.

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