Many Washington residents may still believe that only rich people need to make formal plans for when they pass away. In most cases, that could not be farther from the truth. Nearly every adult could benefit from estate planning.
If a Washington resident has children from a prior relationship and is now married, failing to take appropriate measures could result in assets being passed to someone he or she did not intend. The plan does not have to be complex in order to achieve an individual’s goals. However, it should include documents to pass on assets and to care for him or her in the event of incapacitation.
Ordinarily, that means a last will and testament, a living will and health care power of attorney, along with a durable power of attorney. There will be some costs for these documents, and if a person needs other documents, that price could go up. However, many people find those costs worth it since it helps prevent surviving family members from having to spend more of the estates assets to administer the estate in the absence of those documents. In addition, if a person becomes incapacitated without the proper medical and financial authorizations in place, family members will need to receive court authorization to act on his or her behalf.
These and other issues apply to more than just celebrities and the wealthy. People who have not yet engaged in estate planning may want to consider doing so. If someone is unsure as to how to proceed, an attorney who regularly practices in this area could answer any questions and help create a plan that accomplishes that individual’s needs and desires.
Source: clevelandjewishnews.com, “Estate planning applies to everyone, not just the wealthy“, Becky Raspe, Sept. 20, 2017
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