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Estate planning can go beyond property distribution

When many West Virginia residents consider creating an estate plan, they may simply think that they should determine how to divide their assets among their loved ones. However, estate planning can offer many benefits for getting a person's affairs in order, and it can go far beyond property distribution. Parties can address medical treatment, funeral arrangements and certain financial aspects as well.

When it comes to medical treatment, a living will can be created. This document is not the same as a standard will, which can address property division, guardianship and other important life aspects. With a living will, individuals can detail what type of treatments they would like to undergo in the event they are facing a potentially fatal situation or whether treatment should not be attempted. Additionally, this document could address whether a person should remain on life support.

When addressing financial aspects, individuals could benefit from understanding their current financial situation. Parties may wish to review their accounts, including retirement and bank accounts, and determine whether those accounts can have beneficiary designations. These designations would mean that the funds would pass directly to the beneficiary rather than having to be addressed in a will and go through probate.

While creating a will can act as a major part of estate planning, there are also other facets to the process that can help probate proceedings and other necessary steps move more quickly. If West Virginia residents would like to consider creating an estate plan that covers all of their needs or adding more information to an already existing plan, they may wish to consult with attorneys. These legal professionals could offer valuable insight into specific situations.

Source: wtkr.com, "Taking action for your money: Estate planning basics", Feb. 1, 2018

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