Having an estate plan can help many West Virginia residents safeguard against various issues that could arise. However, though estate planning can be immensely helpful, complications could come about if a plan is not created or updated properly. When individuals make mistakes with their plans, information could become outdated or terms may not be enforceable.
Health care laws are strict and with good reason. They deal with private matters and when it comes to estate planning in West Virginia, the law makes it clear that only those who are authorized will be privy to information regarding a person's health and health care options. Adult children and their aging parents need to establish some framework for making decisions about health care if parents are no longer able to do so. It is something best taken care of when all those involved have a say in planning for the future.
Dying can make things complicated for the living. When West Virginia residents ignore estate planning, they may be leaving their loved ones with much more than heartache. Dying without a last will and testament gives the state a lot of say in what may happen to one's assets.
West Virginia is largely a family-oriented state. It is not unusual for family members to live near each other and to know with some familiarity the general financial affairs of each other. In this close-knit, communicative environment, it can be helpful for adult children to check with their parents on the status of any estate planning that they have accomplished.
The durable power of attorney is a legal instrument that all West Virginia residents should consider as a necessity for an estate plan. The durable power of attorney can be a tremendously useful document in providing for unexpected consequences such as mental incapacity due to an illness late in life. Normally, when a person becomes incompetent to handle his or her own affairs, the family incurs extraordinary additional expenses to have a guardian or conservator appointed by the court. This can be avoided through some simple estate planning.
Unmarried couples in West Virginia may think that they have no need to prepare an estate plan. To the contrary, there are some important reasons why the estate planning process can be useful even to unmarried couples. For one thing, the two partners can appoint each other to make medical decisions on each other's behalf when the other is unable to do so.
Estate planning is a common-sense process that all people in West Virginia and elsewhere should undertake to protect themselves and their families. Those who may be starting out in life and those who may have few assets can nonetheless benefit from having an estate plan. The purposes of estate planning include an effort to maximize financial stability for oneself and one's family.
Wills, trusts, probate -- these terms can feel confusing and overwhelming to the average person. With so many misconceptions and half-truths regarding estate planning, it can be difficult to know where to begin. However, with the help of an experienced West Virginia attorney, a little planning now can go a long way toward benefiting loved ones after an individual dies.
When setting out to create an estate plan, it is likely that the question of whether to use revocable living trusts as part of the grand plan will come up. The use of such trusts in West Virginia is an option of estate planning as it is in all other states. Hopefully, the decision whether to use a living trust will be determined working in close consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.
In West Virginia and elsewhere, family disputes are a regular contributor to probate battles over the wording of the testator's will. Children who have received a smaller share of an estate's assets will often complain, and they can file a will contest to hold up processing and administration of the estate. Experts recommend that a person who is in the process of estate planning will do best by telling his or her children about any inequalities in the distribution while still alive.