In Helena, 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 encompass 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 essential 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 include a living will, which gives your doctors and relatives instructions concerning your healthcare in the event that you become incapacitated, funeral arrangements, and instructions on organ donations.
Most importantly, 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 truly take on such responsibility.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Helena, Alabama?
Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some general considerations in making this decision, however, are your health, age, and the amount of assets involved.
For instance, if you're unmarried, and in your early 20's, estate planning is probably not the most essential thing in your life. However, if you're seriously ill, and/or unusually wealthy, estate planning might be a priority for you.
If you are unmarried, but have a life partner in Helena, Alabama, estate planning is crucial, if you wish for your life partner to be treated as if he or she were your spouse (to the extent possible). In such a situation, the estate plan should make arrangements to give your life partner power of attorney in case you become incapacitated. Your will should also clearly include your partner (if you wish for them to inherit any of your assets).
Individuals who are elderly and/or have a considerable amount of money in Helena, Alabama are probably more in need of an estate plan than almost anyone else. Most people place a lot of value in the peace of mind that comes when they know that the people they love, or the causes they care about, will be taken care of after their death. Of course, nobody likes to confront the facts that this process always includes, but it's necessary.
Do I Need a Helena, Alabama Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Helena, Alabama is not always difficult, but it certainly can be. In moderately-sized to large estates, with a substantial number of potential beneficiaries, it is crucial to have the assistance of an estate planning professional.