Berman & Asbel, LLP

Creating a comprehensive will

Many people in Pennsylvania are concerned about what will happen to their assets after they die. They may also be concerned about who will look after their children, as well as who will handle their finances after death. Creating a will is the primary way that people maintain a semblance of control over their affairs after death.

While many people understand that a will should provide financial direction, they may not think about the other areas of their lives that should be addressed in this important legal document. For example, someone has to take charge of administering the deceased person's estate and ensuring that the intentions of the deceased person are followed out. This person is the executor who is named in the will. What some people don't do, however, is designate more than one person to succeed an executor who becomes unable to fulfill his or her responsibilities. This can create problems for a will's beneficiaries until someone new can be appointed in this role.

Other things that people often don't consider is how they want their physical possessions distributed after death. Some legal experts have noted that family heirlooms and other pieces of personal property that don't have much value can nonetheless trigger infighting after a family member dies. In some cases, it may be a good idea for an individual to discuss with family members whether they are attached to a particular item, and to include in the will that certain family members should receive certain items.

People who would like more information about what should be included in their wills may benefit from speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney. Legal counsel can suggest other documents, such as powers of attorney and advanced health care directives, that could be appropriate for a client's particular situation.

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