In Dubuque, Iowa, "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 creation of a will (the document laying out what is to be done with your property after your death) is an essential element of an estate plan, but it is normally not the only element. There are many other important things that most estate plans should include.
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 recognized as a "living will." It should also include instructions about funeral arrangements and organ donation.
For anyone who has children who are still minors, it is very essential to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable occurs. You should think of a family member or extremely close friend who you know would be willing and able to take care of your children, and designate them as the person who would take custody. Of course, it's important to discuss this matter with that person before you really do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Dubuque, Iowa?
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.
If you have a life partner in Dubuque, Iowa, but aren't married to him or her, estate planning is essential. If you want your partner to have most of the same rights and responsibilities as a spouse, it's normally possible with good estate planning. You should grant your partner power of attorney, so they can make choices for you in case you become incapacitated. Additionally, 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 Dubuque, Iowa, you should definitely come up with an estate plan if you haven't already. Admittedly, this contains confronting some unpleasant and morbid subjects, but it is still very essential. 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 Dubuque, Iowa Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be a difficult process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Dubuque, Iowa who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.