Estate planning in Cape Elizabeth, Maine is simply the act of deciding what you want to happen to your assets after your death. It normally entails making plans about funeral arrangements, as well as plans for end of life care.
Typically, 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.
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.
Most especially, an estate plan should give instructions on the care of your minor children. It should lay out who is to take custody of them, and, if possible, leave them a large sum of money to assist with this care. Of course, you should discuss this matter with the people who you want to take custody of your children, to make sure they can really take on such responsibility.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Cape Elizabeth, Maine?
Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some usual 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.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Cape Elizabeth, Maine 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 Cape Elizabeth, Maine 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 necessary and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Cape Elizabeth, Maine Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Cape Elizabeth, Maine is not always perplexing, 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.