Estate planning is a very broad term in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, referring to a person's decisions 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.
One of the first things an estate planner will ask you about when you come to them for assistance is what you want to put in your will. A will is a document which says who is going to get your property after your death. Once it is proven valid, a will is binding, meaning that the beneficiaries get legal ownership of whatever is left to them. Obviously, if you have any interest in what is done with your property after you die, a will is going to be at the center of your estate plan. Nonetheless, it is rarely the only part of a solid estate plan.
In addition to a well-drafted will, a comprehensive estate plan should contain 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.
For anyone who has children who are still minors, it is very critical to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable occurs. You should think of a family member or extremely close friend who you know would be willing and able to take care of your children, and designate them as the person who would take custody. Of course, it's critical to discuss this matter with that person before you actually do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Belle Fourche, South Dakota?
Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some usual considerations in making this decision, however, are your health, age, and the amount of assets involved.
If you are young and unmarried, estate planning likely doesn't need to be on your radar, unless you are very ill, independently wealthy, or perhaps if you work in a very hazardous job, such as the military.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Belle Fourche, South Dakota is absolutely crucial: 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 several steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
Individuals who are elderly and/or have a large amount of money in Belle Fourche, South Dakota are probably more in need of an estate plan than almost anyone else. Most people place a lot of value in the peace of mind that comes when they know that the people they love, or the causes they care about, will be taken care of after their death. Of course, nobody likes to confront the facts that this process always involves, but it's imperative.
Do I Need a Belle Fourche, South Dakota Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Belle Fourche, South Dakota is not always convoluted, but it certainly can be. In moderately-sized to large estates, with a significant number of potential beneficiaries, it is crucial to have the assistance of an estate planning professional.