Estate planning in Charleston, Missouri is simply the act of deciding what you want to happen to your assets after your death. It typically entails making plans about funeral arrangements, as well as plans for end of life care.
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 typically not the only element. There are many other crucial things that most estate plans should include.
A will is rarely the only aspect of a comprehensive estate plan. Most persons have quite strong preferences about their end-of-life care, particularly when, and under what circumstances, they would want to be taken off life support, if that every happens. These wishes should be made in writing, and discussed with family. Furthermore, preferences on organ donation and funeral arrangements should also be made clear.
Crucially, your plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your children, if they are minors. Nonetheless you should initially discuss this matter with the person who you intend to take custody of your children in case something happens to you, to make sure they are willing and able to do so.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Charleston, Missouri?
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.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Charleston, Missouri is absolutely necessary: 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 various steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
Individuals who are elderly and/or have a considerable amount of money in Charleston, Missouri are probably more in need of an estate plan than almost anyone else. Most people place a lot of value in the peace of mind that comes when they know that the people they love, or the causes they care about, will be taken care of after their death. Of course, nobody likes to confront the facts that this process always includes, but it's crucial.
Do I Need a Charleston, Missouri Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Charleston, Missouri can involve some confusing legal and financial issues, it is necessary to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.