In Charleston, West 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.
The drafting of a will, which simply states what you wish to be done with your property after death, is normally one of the most important 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.
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.
For anyone who has children who are still minors, it is very crucial to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable happens. You should think of a family member or very 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 important to discuss this matter with that person before you really do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Charleston, West Virginia?
The answer to this question depends largely on your goals and priorities, as well as your age, health, and the amount of assets you have.
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 different possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good Charleston, West 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 massive group of people who would benefit from having a good Charleston, West 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 contains facing some uncomfortable realities, it is important and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Charleston, West Virginia Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Charleston, West Virginia can involve some complicated legal and financial issues, it is essential to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.