When most Delaware residents think about a time in their lives when they will not be able to make decisions for themselves, they imagine being elderly. However, a debilitating illness or injury does not discriminate. Even young adults could end up needing a trusted family member or friend to make decisions on their behalf, even temporarily. That is why most estate planning includes the execution of durable powers of attorney.
Delaware law allows a number of ways to leave real estate to loved ones after death. When conducting estate planning, all of the options should be explored in order to ensure that the transfer is accomplished in the best way possible, according to family circumstances. One of those options could be the use of a life estate.
Probate is not the dirty word that many Delaware residents envision it to be. People are encouraged to engage in estate planning in order to avoid going through the probate process, but the fact is that nearly every estate goes through some form of probate. How an individual structures his or her estate plan determines the remainder of the process, including whether it is designed to avoid family conflicts.
Delaware's baby boomers are not the only ones who need to get their affairs in order to ensure their families are taken care of after their deaths. No one knows what the future holds, and it pays to be prepared. That means that even millennials could benefit from estate planning, especially if they have families of their own.
Not every Delaware resident should receive an inheritance outright or is old enough to inherit property. In order to make the most of estate planning, it may be beneficial to consider using a revocable living trust. This type of trust is created during an individual's life and can be changed, altered or modified until his or her death, at which time no further changes can be made to it.
Delaware parents strive to provide for their children both before and after death. During estate planning, many parents struggle with ensuring that they treat each child fairly, and for many people, fair means equal. Unfortunately, equal does not always adequately provide for every child.
Many Delaware residents use the beginning of the year to reevaluate their lives and life choices. This is also a good time to review any estate planning done previously. Keeping these documents up to date can prevent issues for surviving family members when the time comes.
Many Delaware grandparents want to leave their children and their grandchildren an inheritance. Ordinarily, grandchildren are named as alternate beneficiaries should the parents predecease the grandparents, but gifts and inheritances for grandchildren can be arranged as well. Special considerations need to be addressed during estate planning in order to ensure that those bequests and gifts are appropriately handled if the grandchildren are minors.
Delaware residents who are considering making plans to provide for their loved ones after they pass away might not know what documents they will need. During estate planning, their needs are assessed, and a combination of the following seven documents will be considered. These are the documents that most people need in order to create an estate plan effectively dispose of their assets after death and provide for their care if incapacitated.
Most Delaware residents work hard to provide for their families both during life and after they are gone. Estate planning can help to secure the financial future of their children, but it would be a good idea to look back a generation before proceeding. How their parents intend to pass on their estates could directly affect how they structure their estate plans.