Estate planning in Columbia, 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, especially 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. Additionally, 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. However you should first 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 Columbia, Missouri?
Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some general considerations in making this decision, however, are your health, age, and the amount of assets involved.
For instance, if you're unmarried, and in your early 20's, estate planning is probably not the most crucial thing in your life. However, if you're seriously ill, and/or unusually wealthy, estate planning might be a priority for you.
Individuals who are, for varied possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good Columbia, Missouri 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.
If you are elderly, and have a considerable amount of assets in Columbia, Missouri, estate planning may be more crucial at this stage of your life than any other. While estate planning deals with some morbid and unpleasant subjects (requiring us to confront the reality of our own mortality), it is necessary if you wish to live your life secure in the knowledge that your loved ones will be provided for to the extent that your assets allow.
Do I Need a Columbia, Missouri Estate Planning Attorney?
In Columbia, Missouri, estate planning is rarely simple, even if it's not the most intricate 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.