Having supportive family members around can mean a great deal to aging residents in the District of Columbia. Well-meaning adult children often accompany aging parents to appointments such as those for estate planning. Sometimes, this can be more of a detriment to the person wanting to create an estate plan than a help.
District of Columbia music fans may already know that guitar player and singer Lou Reed died in October of last year after a battle with liver disease. Approximately a year-and-a-half prior to his death, Reed made out a will that consisted of 34 pages. In it, he made sure to take care of the women in his life.
For some Washington, DC, residents, their primary asset is not the family home, but the family business. In order to ensure the survival of the business -- or at least its liquid value -- estate planning needs to be done. Without it, when the owner of the business dies, all of its assets could be depleted, leaving heirs with nothing to inherit.
Many District of Columbia residents open accounts that pass to heirs by operation of law upon death. Accounts such as retirement accounts, insurance policies and mutual funds fall into this category along with some others. What many people either do not know or tend to forget is that the beneficiary designations for these accounts almost always override an individual's will.