Residents of Pennsylvania who are physicians may want to take care of themselves and their families through estate planning. Having an established estate plan can ease the burden on the family when the physician becomes incapacitated or passes away. Having plans in place, and keeping them updated, helps keep as much of the estate out of probate as possible if the individual passes away.
Incapacitation planning establishes what is to happen if the individual becomes incapacitated and cannot make decisions or actions for themselves. This includes having several documents in place and made known to others so that they can be executed when needed. A living will provides a record of the type of medical care that is desired in certain circumstances. A health care proxy and power of attorney are two documents that provide a name of someone who can be a proxy for making health care decisions if an individual cannot speak for themselves as well as someone who can make legally binding decisions on the individual’s behalf.
Planning an estate’s distribution helps ensure that the desired people are given what the individual intended on them receiving without the estate going through probate. One method for doing this is to create a pour-over will, which is a combination of a living trust and a short will. A living trust is unique in that it can and should be amended throughout life. A living trust declares beneficiaries of the specific aspects of the estate to certain people or organizations.
If an individual who is a physician is considering estate planning, it may behoove them to reach out to an experienced attorney. An attorney may be able to provide guidance and estate planning to concisely lay out the estate and potentially keep as much of the estate out of probate as possible.