In Winterset, 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 critical 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.

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 critical to discuss this matter with that person before you really do it.

What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Winterset, Iowa?

Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some basic considerations in making this decision, however, are your health, age, and the amount of assets involved.

For instance, if you are in your 20's and unmarried, an estate plan likely does not need to be on your priorities, unless you are very ill, or independently wealthy.

Individuals who are, for different possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good Winterset, Iowa estate plan. Because couples who aren't married don't automatically get any of the legal rights (such as hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and power of attorney) that come with marriage, they have to secure these rights through other means, such as wills and power of attorney agreements.

Other groups for whom estate planning is very critical in Winterset, Iowa are people who are elderly and/or have a lot of assets. This may be the time in one's life where estate planning is most critical. While it's true that the process of making an estate plan requires a person to deal directly with the reality of their own mortality, it is very important if you value the security that comes with the knowledge that your family will be provided for.

Do I Need a Winterset, Iowa Estate Planning Attorney?

In Winterset, Iowa, estate planning is rarely simple, even if it's not the most difficult thing in the world. Given the importance of what's at stake (the financial security of your loved ones), a good estate plan is essential, as is the help of an attorney who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates law.