In Windham, 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 notably, 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 Windham, 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.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Windham, Connecticut 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 Windham, Connecticut 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 essential and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Windham, Connecticut Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Windham, Connecticut is not always difficult, 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.