In Racine County, Wisconsin, 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.
The drafting of a will, which simply states what you wish to be done with your property after death, is usually one of the most critical parts of an estate plan. Of course, it's rarely the only one. There are many other things you might want to include, depending on your objectives.
In addition to a well-drafted will, a comprehensive estate plan should include 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.
Most importantly, 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 actually take on such responsibility.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Racine County, Wisconsin?
This usually depends on your individual goals and priorities, your age, health, and the nature and quantity of your assets.
If you are in good health, young, and not married, planning an estate is probably not a high priority. And at this point in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very dangerous jobs, or who are very wealthy.
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 Racine County, Wisconsin 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.
If you are elderly, and have a large amount of assets in Racine County, Wisconsin, estate planning may be more critical 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 crucial 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 Racine County, Wisconsin Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Racine County, Wisconsin is not always simple, the assistance of a good attorney will almost certainly be useful, and worth the cost. This is doubly true because of how important the issues involved can be, and the fact that a relatively minor mistake can sometimes derail an entire estate plan.