This is a common question. The best answer is, like the old Fram oil filter commercial said, pay me now or pay me more later.
Although said as joke, there is definitely an underlying truth to that statement, both in monetary and emotional cost. Most people will generally get a Last Will and Testament as well as a Financial Power of Attorney and Healthcare Power of Attorney as a general baseline.
However, Pennsylvania specifically provides that the financial power of attorney must state with specificity every power that it is granting, and if a power is not specifically given in the document, the presumption is that the grantor of the power did not intend to give it, so therefore it is not given.
Unfortunately, most Internet forms are not state-specific, and thus often do not comply with the state specific rules, or provide for necessary planning that a person may need as she or he ages. Frequently, people who use basic or internet-generated forms are not able to do planning later and end up losing much, if not all, of what they worked their lives for simply because they did not get the documents drafted properly.
Wills also have state-specific requirements that if not met, it can cause the family a lot of extra work, heartache, time, and expense after the person passes.
To assure peace of mind that while alive and after death your wishes can and will be fulfilled as intended, it is essential to have your documents drafted by somebody who specializes in estate planning and elder law. You can avoid paying more later if you do it properly now.
To learn more about the importance of estate planning join us for one of our free educational workshops. You can RSVP here today for the day and time that works best for you.
Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.