End-of-Life Issues in Pennsylvania
Do You or a Parent Need Help Planning in Columbia County? We Only Do Elder Law
Facing the end of your life can be challenging and uncertain, but our lawyers are here to make it easier. Elder care planning in Pennsylvania is a process that allows families to work with trained legal professionals to determine the wishes of an elderly loved one, and to create the documents needed to enact those wishes when the time comes. The process also addresses financial decisions for the loved one’s estate.
Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC is proud to serve the senior citizens of this community. Marianne E. Kreisher and Marissa B. Marshall are the only certified elder law attorneys (CELAs) in Columbia and Montour counties. This added training allows us to better serve you and offer peace of mind. Call (570) 784-5211 to schedule an appointment and discuss how we can assist you or your loved one in planning for the future.
Preparing for Healthcare Decisions
Advance healthcare directives are documents that state your choices for end-of-life care, and they also designate who will make healthcare-related discussions for you in the event that you are incapacitated. Sometimes an advance healthcare directive is called a living will. These documents are only put into action if you are incapacitated and there is no possibility that you will recover. Not only does a living will provide you with peace of mind, but it also relieves your loved ones of the burden of decision during an emotional time.
A healthcare power of attorney is the person you select and authorize to make healthcare decisions in the event that you are incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself. This person can make choices that are not specifically mentioned in your living will or other directives.
Preparing a Will
When a person dies without a will, he or she dies "intestate" and Pennsylvania’s laws of intestacy will determine how the person’s assets and possessions will be distributed. If you have a will in place at the time of your death, that legal document dictates how your estate will be distributed, who is the "executor" of your will, and even the guardianship of your minor children or dependent adult children.
In addition to these benefits, your certified elder care attorney can assist you with financial planning, which can minimize the tax burden that your loved ones will face after you pass. Currently, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue quotes inheritance tax at 12% for distributions to siblings and 4.5% on distributions to direct descendants and lineal heirs. There is no state inheritance tax charged on distributions to surviving spouses, or to a parent from a child who is 21 or under.
Preparing a Trust
Your certified elder care attorney can also advise you on the benefits of creating a trust if you have heirs who are minors or too young to manage a substantial inheritance. The trust can provide heirs with a regular income, with a lump sum payout when they reach a more mature age. Trusts can also be used to ensure the care of a loved one who is disabled. Irrevocable trusts are another tool that allows you to pass on possessions or other assets to heirs while eliminating some of the tax burden.
Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC has over four decades of experience serving the elder community in Pennsylvania. Our CELAs’ training in this specific area of the law also provides them with information about vital resources and services offered both publicly and privately to meet the needs of senior citizens. Call (570) 784-5211 today or stop by the office at 401 S. Market Street in Bloomsburg to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs. Our compassionate team understands that these can be delicate discussions, but they are important for your peace of mind and for that of your loved ones.