When planning for the final disposition of your estate in St. Joseph, Missouri, there are a few things you'll want to consider: who do you want to give your assets to, and under what conditions? Do you have any preference for how your funeral should be handled? Do you have any specific wishes concerning end-of-life care? These questions, and more, should all be taken into account.
While the drafting of a will (the document that dictates what is to be done with the decedent's property after death) is usually the central component of any estate plan, there are many other elements which you may want to include, depending on your goals, and your financial situation.
A solid estate plan will also include instructions to your doctors about your preferences for end of life care, in case you become unable to express them. This is known as a "living will." It should also include instructions about funeral arrangements and organ donation.
Most importantly, 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 actually take on such responsibility.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in St. Joseph, Missouri?
Obviously, the answer to this depends on many factors, as well as your goals and preferences. However, most people, when deciding what type of estate plan they need, consider their health, age, and wealth.
If you are in good health, young, and not married, planning an estate is probably not a high priority. And at this point in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very dangerous jobs, or who are very wealthy.
Individuals who are, for various possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good St. Joseph, 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 very old, and have a substantial estate in St. Joseph, Missouri, you should definitely come up with an estate plan if you haven't already. Admittedly, this involves confronting some unpleasant and morbid subjects, but it is still very important. Estate planning is essential if you care at all what happens to your property, and, more importantly, your loved ones, after you die.
Do I Need a St. Joseph, Missouri Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in St. Joseph, Missouri can involve some perplexing legal and financial issues, it is crucial to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.