Estate planning is a very broad term in Altoona, Pennsylvania, 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.
For instance, a seasoned estate plan will include a living will, which gives your family members and healthcare professionals instructions about your medical care, to be followed in the event you become incapacitated. You should also include your funeral arrangements, and your preference with respect to organ donation.
If you have young children, it is absolutely crucial that you make arrangements for their care, as well as their custody. Obviously, if you want someone specific to take custody of them in the event something happens, you need to discuss the matter with them, to ensure that they are actually able and willing to care for them.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Altoona, Pennsylvania?
This normally depends on your individual goals and priorities, your age, health, and the nature and quantity of your assets.
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 Altoona, Pennsylvania is absolutely essential: 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 many steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
Other groups for whom estate planning is very necessary in Altoona, Pennsylvania are people who are elderly and/or have a lot of assets. This may be the time in one's life where estate planning is most necessary. While it's true that the process of making an estate plan requires a person to deal directly with the reality of their own mortality, it is very important if you value the security that comes with the knowledge that your family will be provided for.
Do I Need a Altoona, Pennsylvania Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Altoona, Pennsylvania can involve some perplexing legal and financial issues, it is essential to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.