In Smithfield, Virginia, estate planning is the process of determining 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 ensure 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 typically the central component of any estate plan, there are several other elements which you may want to include, depending on your goals, and your financial situation.
Besides a will, a quality estate plan will include a living will, which gives your doctors and relatives instructions concerning your healthcare in the event that you become incapacitated, funeral arrangements, and instructions on organ donations.
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 Smithfield, Virginia?
Obviously, the answer to this depends on many factors, as well as your goals and preferences. However, most people, when deciding what type of estate plan they need, consider their health, age, and wealth.
Unmarried young adults usually don't think much about estate planning. In most cases, this is fine. Unless you are extremely sick or have an unusually large amount of assets, estate planning is not something to really worry about at this point in your life.
If you have a life partner in Smithfield, Virginia, but aren't married to him or her, estate planning is necessary. If you want your partner to have most of the same rights and responsibilities as a spouse, it's typically possible with good estate planning. You should grant your partner power of attorney, so they can make arrangements for you in case you become incapacitated. Moreover, you should name your partner as a beneficiary in your will, because, unlike a spouse, a life partner will not automatically inherit your property if you die without a will.
If you are elderly, and have a considerable amount of assets in Smithfield, Virginia, estate planning may be more crucial at this stage of your life than any other. While estate planning deals with some morbid and unpleasant subjects (requiring us to confront the reality of our own mortality), it is necessary if you wish to live your life secure in the knowledge that your loved ones will be provided for to the extent that your assets allow.
Do I Need a Smithfield, Virginia Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be an intricate process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Smithfield, Virginia who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.