In Bay Minette, Alabama, "estate planning" refers to the process by which a person makes arrangements related to their property after their death. It can (and should) also include personal issues that might come up immediately before and after a person's death.
The drafting of a will, which simply states what you wish to be done with your property after death, is typically one of the most critical parts of an estate plan. Of course, it's rarely the only one. There are many other things you might want to include, depending on your objectives.
Besides a will, a quality estate plan will contain a living will, which gives your doctors and relatives directions regarding your healthcare in the event that you become incapacitated, funeral arrangements, and instructions on organ donations.
For anyone who has children who are still minors, it is very essential to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable occurs. You should think of a family member or extremely close friend who you know would be willing and able to take care of your children, and designate them as the person who would take custody. Of course, it's critical to discuss this matter with that person before you truly do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Bay Minette, Alabama?
Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some basic considerations in making this decision, however, are your health, age, and the amount of assets involved.
If you are young and unmarried, estate planning likely doesn't need to be on your radar, unless you are very ill, independently wealthy, or perhaps if you work in a very hazardous job, such as the military.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Bay Minette, Alabama is absolutely necessary: adults who are not married, but have a life partner who they'd like to provide for in the event of death. There are many rights that automatically attach with marriage, such as the right to inherit if a spouse dies without a will, the right to make medical decisions for the other spouse if they become incapacitated, etc. If you and your partner are, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to get married, you will have to take various steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
Other groups for whom estate planning is very critical in Bay Minette, Alabama are people who are elderly and/or have a lot of assets. This may be the time in one's life where estate planning is most critical. While it's true that the process of making an estate plan requires a person to deal directly with the reality of their own mortality, it is very important if you value the security that comes with the knowledge that your family will be provided for.
Do I Need a Bay Minette, Alabama Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be a confusing process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Bay Minette, Alabama who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.