Young families who live in an around Allentown may not have time to think about their estate plans.

Aside from being busy raising children and getting a good start on their adult lives, younger Pennsylvanians also may think that since they don’t have a lot of wealth outside their houses and retirement plans, they do not really need to worry about an estate plan.

Nomination of a guardian

Even younger families, though, need to think about what will happen should they both pass away or should neither be able to take care of their children due to an illness or an unexpected disability.

The couple can consider suggesting a guardian for their children in their estate planning documents, including a will. The court-appointed guardian will have the authority to raise the child and the responsibility to take care of the child. In many cases, the guardian will also have authority to manage the child’s property.

While this step may not guarantee that a court will actually appoint the person the couple suggests, the documentation can still go a long way in seeing the couple’s wishes fulfilled.

Moreover, if a person names a guardian in their will, then the guardian may be able to get permission to manage the child’s property, including the child’s inheritance, without having to pay for and post a bond with the court.

Health care and financial planning

It is also a good idea for a person to nominate an attorney in fact for themselves no matter their age or financial standing. Most Pennsylvanians, after all, own at least one account where the institution will require a power of attorney before letting someone else manage it.

The power of attorney document allows a person to give a loved one legal authority to manage their property and financial affairs.

This document will be critical if the person who made it suddenly cannot manager his or her own affairs or simply gets to a point in life where it is difficult to do so. Without it, loved ones may find it very difficult to get access to a person’s financial records and assets.

Likewise, a person will also need a separate document to appoint a health care agent to make medical decisions on their behalf. Without this important document, doctors and the family can have a lot of confusion, or even conflict, over what sort of treatment a person should receive.

Making a will early in life is a good idea

Finally, even couples with relatively modest wealth could benefit from a simple will. It can be surprising how much property winds up in a person’s probate estate. Having a will in place can ensure that a person’s loved ones receive their wealth according to the person’s wishes.