In Elba, 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 usually 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.
Most notably, an estate plan should give instructions on the care of your minor children. It should lay out who is to take custody of them, and, if possible, leave them a large sum of money to assist with this care. Of course, you should discuss this matter with the people who you want to take custody of your children, to make sure they can actually take on such responsibility.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Elba, Alabama?
The answer to this question varies largely on your goals and priorities, as well as your age, health, and the amount of assets you have.
If you are in good health, young, and not married, planning an estate is likely not a high priority. And at this time in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very hazardous jobs, or who are very wealthy.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Elba, Alabama is absolutely crucial: 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 several steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
There is another large group of people who would benefit from having a good Elba, Alabama estate plan: the elderly and those with a lot of money really need to consider making a comprehensive estate plan as soon as possible. While this necessarily involves facing some uncomfortable realities, it is critical and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Elba, Alabama Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be a perplexing process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Elba, Alabama who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.