Wills, trusts and beneficiary designations are words often associated with planning for what happens after a Delaware resident's death. What about words like power of attorney, health care directive and living will? These aspects of estate planning are equally as important to the process because they focus on taking care of an individual during life in the event that they become unable to make decisions for or otherwise take care of themselves at some point due to age, accident or illness.
Many Delaware residents between the ages of 53 and 71 may make up part of the 60 percent of baby boomers who have already made arrangements for the distribution of their property after death. The other 40 percent may still be considering how best to leave their assets to their children. Fortunately, estate planning provides numerous methods for achieving their goals.
Many Delaware couples decide that marriage is not for them. They do not feel that they need a legal document to remain in a committed relationship. That may be true of a marriage license, but when it comes to estate planning, unmarried couples need certain legal documents in place just like their married counterparts. In fact, it may be even more important for those who are not married.
Less than half of Americans have prepared for their death or the possibility of becoming incapacitated. This includes many people here in Delaware who have yet to engage in any estate planning. Many may be under the impression that it only helps older or richer people, but that is not the case. Every adult could benefit from having an estate plan.
Many of the scientific advances in medicine have come from research. Some of that research has been done on deceased individuals, including some Delaware residents, who donated their bodies to science. Many people are listed as organ donors on their driver's licenses, but not as many people may know that you can donate your entire body to science as part of your estate planning.
Every adult in Delaware may want to find the time to think about who will inherit their property upon death. However, certain events tend to trigger the desire to conduct estate planning such as marriages, births and deaths, among other things. Regardless of the event that brings people to create an estate plan, they will more than likely have numerous questions.
A prenuptial agreement will more than likely not be enough to cover the concerns of Delaware residents who marry more than once and later in life. Protecting children and assets from a previous marriage may be a major concern for one or both parties. A prenuptial agreement often serves as only a part of the estate planning that needs to be done under these circumstances.
In Delaware and elsewhere, virtually every adult confronts certain issues and challenges when they think about their legal estate and the possibility of becoming incapacitated at some point in their lives. Many same-sex couples experience additional challenges as they consider estate planning issues. Perhaps one of the primary, and potentially most important challenges is the legal status of their relationships.
Many Delaware residents are fortunate enough to find love a second time in their lives. Getting married for the second time often brings with it financial issues that need to be worked out between the parties. Some may forget that estate planning should also be looked at since each party may bring their own assets, debts and children to the marriage. How those assets are controlled and passed on after death depends on the parties.
After spending a lifetime caring and providing for family members, many Delaware residents make arrangements to provide for them after death as well. Unfortunately, those residents might forget that estate planning is about more than just dividing assets. It also includes making provisions in the event that they become unable to care for themselves at some point later in life.