Advance planning documents, like wills and powers of attorney, can help prevent family disputes, protect property from scams, and help Philadelphians make thoughtful decisions about important matters, such as their medical care and who will own their home when they die.
“It was so exciting to see so many folks get their estate plans completed and notarized. To see this daunting task completed and know that folks did the work to protect and steward their life-long investments felt like a relief,” said Carrie Rathmann, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia.
Wills are also vital to families and communities trying to build generational wealth. In Philadelphia, there are more than 10,000 “tangled titles” collectively worth $1.1 billion. Tangled titles occur when someone is living in a home but their name is not on the deed to the property. To avoid complications after death, creating a will that protects one’s assets, including housing, is essential.
“In this community most people do not have wills, our parents didn’t know the importance of wills, but now I have been preaching to my neighbors about it. Now that I have seen how many houses got torn down in my community because people did not have an estate plan, I can see how important it is for people to have one,” said Cynthia Harris.