In Westport, Connecticut, "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.
Generally, the first thing a person thinks about when they think about estate planning is a will. A will dictates what occurs to a person's property after they die. In general, you can leave your property to whomever you want, and attach almost any condition to such gifts. In the vast majority of estate plans, a will is the central component. It is rarely the only one, however.
A clear estate plan will also contain instructions to your doctors about your preferences for end of life care, in case you become unable to express them. This is known as a "living will." It should also include instructions about funeral arrangements and organ donation.
Perhaps most especially, your estate plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your minor children, if you have any. Of course, you should discuss this matter with the person you intend to take custody of the children beforehand, to ensure that they are able and willing to provide proper care.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Westport, Connecticut?
The answer to this question varies on your individual needs, your priorities, your health, and the size and nature of your estate.
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.
If you have a life partner in Westport, Connecticut, but aren't married to him or her, estate planning is crucial. If you want your partner to have most of the same rights and responsibilities as a spouse, it's usually possible with good estate planning. You should grant your partner power of attorney, so they can make decisions for you in case you become incapacitated. Furthermore, you should name your partner as a beneficiary in your will, because, unlike a spouse, a life partner will not automatically inherit your property if you die without a will.
If you are very old, and have a considerable estate in Westport, Connecticut, you should definitely come up with an estate plan if you haven't already. Admittedly, this involves confronting some unpleasant and morbid subjects, but it is still very critical. Estate planning is essential if you care at all what happens to your property, and, more importantly, your loved ones, after you die.
Do I Need a Westport, Connecticut Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Westport, Connecticut is not always confusing, but it certainly can be. In moderately-sized to large estates, with a significant number of potential beneficiaries, it is crucial to have the assistance of an estate planning professional.