In Madison County, 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 normally one of the most important 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 really take on such responsibility.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Madison County, Alabama?
Obviously, the answer to this depends on many factors, as well as your goals and preferences. However, most people, when deciding what type of estate plan they need, consider their health, age, and wealth.
If you are young and unmarried, estate planning probably doesn't need to be on your radar, unless you are very ill, independently wealthy, or perhaps if you work in a very dangerous job, such as the military.
If you are unmarried, but have a life partner in Madison County, 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).
Other groups for whom estate planning is very important in Madison County, Alabama are people who are elderly and/or have a lot of assets. This may be the point in one's life where estate planning is most important. 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 extremely important if you value the security that comes with the knowledge that your family will be provided for.
Do I Need a Madison County, Alabama Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be a convoluted process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Madison County, Alabama who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.