Justin Raber Attorney at Law

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Estate planning isn't something to put off until retirement

A lot of people in West Virginia think that estate planning is something you do when you're farther along in life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While we all hope for a long and healthy life, you never know when you could develop a severe illness or experience a major accident. If you fail to create a last will or estate plan before this happens, your assets could end up in probate court. Also, your loved ones may not know how to handle financial and medical issues if you become incapacitated for a long period of time or even permanently.

Estate planning early in life makes a lot of sense. Not only do you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you've provided for the needs of your family, but you know your wishes will get followed as well. Does your family know how you feel about prolonged life support, resuscitation when you're terminal or organ donation? You can include all of these critical medical decisions in your estate plan. You can even give someone you trust limited power of attorney in the event that you die or become too sick or injured to make your own decisions.

Estate plans can change as your situation changes

One reason many people put off estate planning is because their families are still growing and changing. The great thing about starting early with estate planning is that you can always update, change and correct your estate plan if your situation changes. Creating a last will and estate plan as soon as you have a home or a decent salary is a wise decision. If you later marry, you can always update your estate plan. It can also be changed to include children and grandchildren. It is much wiser to update and correct your estate plan as life changes than to wait indefinitely.

Waiting until you retire to create an estate plan is leaving a lot of issues to chance. If something were to happen to you before you create a last will or estate plan, there could be serious issues. If you are married or have children, your children or spouse will inherit your estate. If you have neither a spouse nor children, however, your other family, including siblings, inherit your estate. If there aren't any family members to inherit, the state of West Virginia receives all assets from your estate. Wouldn't you prefer to have control over what happens to your assets when you die?

An attorney can help create and update your estate plan

Working with an experienced West Virginia estate and probate lawyer is your best option. Schedule an initial consultation as soon as possible to help protect your family and your assets. Your attorney will also be able to update your estate plan and last will when your financial or familial situations change. Don't delay and risk waiting too long. Start working on your estate plan today, for peace of mind and security.

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