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Who needs Estate Plans?

posted Aug 31, 2009, 8:22 AM by Steven Zweigart
Did you know that if you die, or perhaps I should say "WHEN you die", that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has in place for you a set of estate plans?  Do you know what they are?  What they'll do?  Who'll end up with your goodies?  If you don't know, with certainty, the answers to these questions, then you should consult with an attorney to find to discuss what will happen and how your loved ones will be cared for when you die.  This is particularly true if you have children out of wedlock, are divorced, have adopted childrn, or otherwise have any kind of unusual circumstance that could easily result in your estate being dispensed in a manner that may not be exactly what you wish.
I prefer to see a proper estate plan include not just a Last Will and Testament, but also a General Durable Power of Attorney, and a Living Will (sometimes called an Advance Directive.)  I have actually seen more problems arise from lack of a Power of Attorney than from an improperly drafted Last Will and Testament, though both documents are imperative for adequate estate planning.  In addition to these documents, real estate, life insurance, and the method in which vehicles and bank accounts are titled or registered can also be of vast importance in helping keep your affairs in order.
So the simple answer to the question, "Who needs Estate Plans?", is that "Everyone needs Estate Plans."  Even if you don't require fancy documents, you should review your situation with an attorney in order to assure that your expectations can and will be met in the event of a catastrophic disaibility or death.