In Fairfield, 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 encompass 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 solid estate plan will also include 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 crucial to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable happens. You should think of a family member or very 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 Fairfield, Iowa?

The answer to this question depends largely on your goals and priorities, as well as your age, health, and the amount of assets you have.

Unmarried young adults typically don't think much about estate planning. In most cases, this is fine. Unless you are extremely sick or have an unusually large amount of assets, estate planning is not something to really worry about at this point in your life.

If you're not married in Fairfield, Iowa, but have a life partner, estate planning is necessary. If you want your partner to be treated as your spouse, your estate plan should make arrangements to give him or her power of attorney in the event that you become incapacitated. Additionally, your will should clearly name your partner as a beneficiary, if you want them to inherit any of your assets.

There is another massive group of people who would benefit from having a good Fairfield, Iowa 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 contains facing some uncomfortable realities, it is important and unavoidable.

Do I Need a Fairfield, Iowa Estate Planning Attorney?

Because estate planning in Fairfield, Iowa can involve some complicated legal and financial issues, it is essential to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.