In Arlington, Virginia, estate planning is the process of deciding what you want done with your property after your death (which is, of course, a very personal decision), and then setting up the legal and financial arrangements to guarantee that your wishes are carried out.
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 various other elements which you may want to include, depending on your goals, and your financial situation.
A clear estate plan will also contain 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.
Crucially, your plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your children, if they are minors. Nonetheless you should initially discuss this matter with the person who you intend to take custody of your children in case something happens to you, to make sure they are willing and able to do so.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Arlington, Virginia?
The answer to this question varies largely on your goals and priorities, as well as your age, health, and the amount of assets you have.
For example, if you're unmarried, and in your early 20's, estate planning is probably not the most important thing in your life. However, if you're seriously ill, and/or unusually wealthy, estate planning might be a priority for you.
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 Arlington, Virginia 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 large group of people who would benefit from having a good Arlington, Virginia 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 involves facing some uncomfortable realities, it is important and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Arlington, Virginia Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Arlington, Virginia is not always complicated, 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.