In Wheeling, 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 essential 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.
A will is rarely the only aspect of a comprehensive estate plan. Most individuals have extremely strong preferences about their end-of-life care, especially when, and under what circumstances, they would want to be taken off life support, if that every happens. These wishes should be made in writing, and discussed with family. Additionally, preferences on organ donation and funeral arrangements should also be made clear.
Crucially, your plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your children, if they are minors. However you should first 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 Wheeling, 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 Wheeling, 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 Wheeling, 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 essential and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Wheeling, West Virginia Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Wheeling, West Virginia is not always simple, the assistance of a brilliant attorney will almost certainly be useful, and worth the cost. This is doubly true because of how crucial the issues involved can be, and the fact that a relatively minor mistake can sometimes derail an entire estate plan.