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Essential Documents in a Pennsylvania Estate Plan

When people think about putting together an estate plan, they mostly think about drafting a will. While a will is part of an estate plan, there are other documents that you need as well. Failure to create a comprehensive estate plan can cause both you and your loved ones headaches down the line. That is why working with a skilled Pennsylvania estate planning attorney is so essential. Don’t rely on DIY templates or online forms; otherwise, you could inadvertently make costly mistakes.

At Anderson Elder Law, we specialize in estate planning and elder law. We have two offices conveniently located in Media and West Chester. With years of experience, our legal team can help you draft a customized estate plan that protects your assets and achieves all of your financial goals. Here is a look at some of the most common estate planning documents we handle.


Your will is the legal document that outlines your wishes on how you want your property to be distributed. It can also address taking care of minor children should you pass away. A will is one of the most critical documents in estate planning. Failure to draft the will correctly could result in the court invalidating it, which means your estate would be distributed according to Pennsylvania’s intestate succession laws.


When you create a living will, you are letting your family and medical providers know what type of treatment you want in the event you suffer an injury or illness that leaves you unable to make decisions for yourself. It can also cover end of life decisions, like whether you want to be placed on life support.


A trust is another important legal document that allows you to give property to another person or entity to hold on to and then later distributed to third parties, known as beneficiaries. When you set up the trust, you are the grantor and the person placing the property in the trust. Someone else will act as the trustee who manages the trust and makes sure your instructions are followed regarding beneficiary distributions. There are numerous types of trusts. Some benefits to certain types of trusts include not having your estate go through probate, reduced taxes, protection from creditors, and more.


A power of attorney, or POA, allows you to delegate authority to someone else to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. You are known as the principal, and the person who has the POA is your agent. If you are unable to manage your own finances due to an accident or illness, your POA will step in.


The designation for a health care surrogate allows someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself. It is a vital estate planning document to have before you have any major medical procedure. You could become incapacitated during surgery and need someone to make an emergency medical decision on your behalf.


When creating your estate plan, all the documents must be correct; otherwise, they may not be legally binding. You also want to thoroughly think through your choices for positions like the executor of your will, power of attorney, or trustee. These positions come with tremendous responsibility.

If you need assistance getting your estate plan in order, contact Anderson Elder Law today. Let our Pennsylvania Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) help you to create the best estate plan for you and our family. Working with a

Let our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys help you create the best estate plan for your individual situation. Working with a CELA is your surest method of confirming your attorney is qualified to handle your family matter. After all, you deserve the best legal representation available.

Give us a call to get started on your estate planning today 610-566-4700. Or email us at