What is Involved in Estate Planning?

When the average person thinks about these issues, they think a last will and testament is all they should need. Many people believe a will can be drafted on one’s own, stored privately, and that it will be legally binding. While this idea is romantic, it is unfortunately not the case. Nicholas Alexander, an Estate Planning Attorney in Vancouver Washington can help you to ensure that your estate plan is complete, legal and that it will accomplish the things you need and want it to accomplish.

A complete estate plan will include;

  • Life insurance
  • Long term care insurance
  • Lifetime annuity
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • A durable power of attorney
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Letters of intent
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Guardianship designations

Without all of these things in place, especially guardianship designations, your children could go into the care of persons or institutions that do not align with your wishes. Our Vancouver estate planning attorneys can help ensure all these things are well in place, that they will achieve your wishes, and protect the interests of your dependents.

For What Should You Plan?

Almost any time the owner of an estate dies or becomes incapacitated, disputes arise among adult beneficiaries and those who may be in a position to influence the outcome. As a single parent, your estate may be small and simple. Your holdings, debts, and accounts may be things you can calculate with a pen and pencil in a few minutes. Even still, it is in your children’s best interest that your wishes be adhered to.

To do this, you will need three things;

A will: Here, you lay out your wishes as clearly and fully as possible. You will describe under whose care you wish your children to go. You will clarify to whom or what your assets and holdings will go, how and with what assets debts will be paid, and much more. It is essential that a Vancouver Estate Planning Lawyer be consulted so that the language you use in your will has the desired effect.

A power of attorney: This is to be granted to someone you know and trust. It could be an actual attorney, a friend, or a family member. The person you choose should know that you intend to call on them and they must understand the responsibility that entails. This person may make decisions for you concerning your accounts, your physical assets, and even the care of your children.

An advance healthcare directive: This gives direction to medical personnel on how to treat you in accordance with your wishes should you lose the ability to speak for yourself. It will include under what circumstances you will or will not wish to be resuscitated. It is a legal document that lists medical treatments you want to be given and those you do not want to be given after you are unable to speak for yourself. Once again, an Estate Planning Vancouver attorney should be consulted to ensure the language you use in your advance healthcare directive is accurate and that it will achieve what you want it to achieve.

How Can Your Children Be Best Protected?

To ensure your children continue to be educated in the way you wish, that they receive the nutrition and medical attention you wish them to receive, all of the things here, and more, should be in place. To ensure that they go into the care of a person or persons whom you trust, and whom you believe genuinely cares for your children, a professional, experienced estate planning Vancouver Washington lawyer should be consulted at every point in the estate planning process.

Too many people leave these things to chance.

How a Vancouver Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

These issues are legally and financially complex. The estate planning legal professionals of Vancouver Wills and Trusts have the experience and the training to ensure that your wishes are upheld and that your children receive the care you believe they need and deserve.