Individuals want to ensure their surviving loved ones are provided for after they pass. Particularly those persons with children under 18 should have a District of Columbia estate plan nominating personal guardians for their minor children, and making other provisions for the continued care, education, and upbringing. Otherwise, a District of Columbia court will decide without your input where your kids will live, and who their guardian will be that will make important decisions about their money, education, and way of life.
Having a proper District of Columbia estate plan may avoid the District of Columbia probate court’s oversight of your property’s transfer to your chosen beneficiaries. Therefore having an estate plan will spare your beneficiaries costly, time-consuming, and unnecessary delays in accessing their inheritance.
A District of Columbia estate plan should include documents to help you prepare for your own possible mental or physical incapacity. A District of Columbia living will, and a District of Columbia healthcare power of attorney may enable you to decide in advance about life support and appoint someone you trust to make important decisions for you about medical treatment. Likewise, a District of Columbia financial power of attorney can be a valid document to make your wishes know regarding your finances.
Proper estate planning can keep the cost of transferring the District of Columbia property to your heirs as low as possible, leaving more money for your beneficiaries at the end of the probate process.
A well written District of Columbia last will and testament will help ensure that the executor of your choice has the necessary authority under District of Columbia law, which can save money, reduce the burden on your survivors and simplify the administration of your estate through the District of Columbia probate process. The person you select as your executor will be responsible for filing your District of Columbia last will and testament with the District of Columbia probate court.
Your District of Columbia estate plan may include provisions for your funeral arrangements that can relive the burden for your survivors. You can specify if you wish to be buried or cremated and any final arrangements you have made in advance. If you have already purchased a funeral plot in a District of Columbia cemetery, your estate should also make this known.
Through your District of Columbia estate plan, you can help support religious organizations, educational, and other charitable causes, either during your lifetime or upon your death. At the same time, your estate plan can take advantage of the District of Columbia tax laws designed to encourage charitable giving.
Having a well thought out District of Columbia estate plan is an excellent way to reduce potential conflict among your heirs. The passing of a loved one is a stressful time, having a clearly written District of Columbia last will can go along way to preventing conflicts between those you wish to benefit.
Do you have an elderly parent living in the District of Columbia, child or loved one with special needs, or a grandchild whose education you want to assure? You could establish a special trust fund under District of Columbia law for family members who need support that you won’t be there to provide.
If you own a small business in the District of Columbia, you can provide an orderly succession plan and continuation of your business by clearly spelling out what will happen to your business interest through your District of Columbia estate plan. In the District of Columbia, small businesses represent a significant portion of an individual’s estate, therefore making sure that your business interest in your estate plan is just as important as the instructions you provide regarding bank accounts, real estate, or life insurance.