Have you ever thought about what it means to have an estate? Almost everyone has an estate when they die. While some estates are really big, others can be quite small. In fact, we find that many people make the mistake of not even realizing they have an estate because they don't consider what they have to be significant. Unfortunately, this may cause problems upon one’s death as you can't take your estate with you, and you can't really verbalize your plans once you've passed away. As such, planning your estate in Raleigh with an estate planning attorney is something to consider, no matter what age you are.
What is included in Your Estate?
An estate often includes any property you owned at the time of your death; including your home, car, boat, - even furniture. Your estate may also include financials, such as certain checking and savings accounts, investments, and stocks. Essentially, your estate includes any personal belongings you own, and hiring an estate lawyer can help when you start planning your estate in Raleigh.
Who has control of Your Estate?
One of the biggest concerns we hear from our clients is that they want to be in control of who gets what from their estate. As you might imagine, no one wants their estate to fall into the wrong hands, the government or distant relatives that they haven't been in contact with for decades.
As such, if you want to make sure that your estate requests are fulfilled, you'll need to create specific instructions while planning your estate in Raleigh, NC. These instructions include who receives what, how your estate is to be handled, and so forth. Although it seems perfectly simple, there may be some factors to consider before jumping into planning. Your Raleigh estate lawyer can help you work through these details.
Planning Your Estate in Raleigh Should Include Medical Care
While we often think of estate planning in the context of death, estate planning should also include documentation around medical preferences should you become disabled before passing. This includes how you feel about resuscitation and other extensive measures that are often possible with today's modern medicine.
For example, we certainly came across a story of a man who experienced a brain injury. This injury now requires the man to need a laundry list of medical support devices to sustain life. He did not have his medical preferences documented in an estate plan or living will. Therefore, his mother and wife are now battling his case in court to determine the next steps in his treatment.
No one wants to consider what might happen should they face such extreme medical treatments, but you can and should express your wishes long before that time comes.
Planning Your Estate in Raleigh Needs to Consider Young Children
Oftentimes, our clients start planning for their estate while they still have young children at home. As such, it's important that you choose a guardian for your children should you pass before your kids are of legal age to provide for themselves.
On a similar note, you may want to think about naming an inheritance or property manager for your children or family members with special needs. This person would manage any money or property your children inherit from you, in the event that the other parent has also passed until they are of legal age to manage it themselves. You may also address these designations in a trust.
Planning Your Estate in Raleigh Should Consider Insurance
We often recommend that our clients include an insurance policy for their loved ones, in the event of their death. While this often includes the financial means to cover funeral expenses, this may also include disability insurance should you not be able to work due to an injury or illness, as well as long-term care insurance that can help pay for your medical bills should have a prolonged stay in the hospital or require treatment above and beyond your family's means.
Estate Planning Should Be Ongoing
Planning your estate in Raleigh is hardly a one-and-done situation. In fact, we encourage you to update your estate plan as time goes on. It is completely acceptable to reorganize your plan. Life can be unpredictable. Family dynamics can change. Your circumstances may drastically improve or decline. Whatever the case, your estate plan should be a reflection of your wishes and you're allowed to make revisions.
Whatever the case, Eldreth Law Firm, an estate planning attorney in Raleigh NC, is available to help you plan your estate. It’s never too early to start estate planning with a lawyer in Raleigh NC! We look forward to hearing from you soon.