In Mount Vernon, 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.
Besides a will, a quality estate plan will contain a living will, which gives your doctors and relatives directions regarding your healthcare in the event that you become incapacitated, funeral arrangements, and instructions on organ donations.
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 Mount Vernon, Iowa?
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 Mount Vernon, Iowa is absolutely essential: 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 many steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
There is another massive group of people who would benefit from having a good Mount Vernon, 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 Mount Vernon, Iowa Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Mount Vernon, Iowa is not always complicated, but it certainly can be. In moderately-sized to large estates, with a considerable number of potential beneficiaries, it is crucial to have the assistance of an estate planning professional.