Estate planning is a very broad term in St. Helens, Oregon, referring to a person's choices on issues that affect them and their family toward the end of their life. These might contain instructions for end-of-life care, as well as drafting a will or other document with the intent of disposing of one's property after their death.
While the drafting of a will (the document that dictates what is to be done with the decedent's property after death) is normally the central component of any estate plan, there are numerous other elements which you may want to include, depending on your goals, and your financial situation.
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 notably, 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 St. Helens, Oregon?
Obviously, the answer to this depends on many factors, as well as your goals and preferences. But, 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 likely not a high priority. And at this time in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very hazardous jobs, or who are very wealthy.
Individuals who are, for different possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good St. Helens, Oregon 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.
There is another massive group of people who would benefit from having a good St. Helens, Oregon 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 St. Helens, Oregon Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in St. Helens, Oregon is not always simple, the assistance of a seasoned attorney will almost certainly be useful, and worth the cost. This is doubly true because of how essential the issues involved can be, and the fact that a relatively minor mistake can sometimes derail an entire estate plan.