When planning for the final disposition of your estate in Southern Pines, North Carolina, 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 particular wishes concerning end-of-life care? These questions, and more, should all be taken into account.
The drafting of a will, which simply states what you wish to be done with your property after death, is typically one of the most critical parts of an estate plan. Of course, it's rarely the only one. There are many other things you might want to include, depending on your objectives.
In addition to a well-drafted will, a comprehensive estate plan should include things like a living will (healthcare directives made in advance, in case you become incapacitated and unable to make or express such decisions), funeral instructions, and instructions relating to organ donations.
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 truly take on such responsibility.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Southern Pines, North Carolina?
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 example, if you are in your 20's and unmarried, an estate plan probably 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 Southern Pines, North Carolina 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 granting power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
There is another considerable group of people who would benefit from having a good Southern Pines, North Carolina 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 includes facing some uncomfortable realities, it is critical and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Southern Pines, North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Southern Pines, North Carolina can involve some convoluted legal and financial issues, it is necessary to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.