Younger Washington, DC, residents most likely do not feel any urgency in preparing for incapacitation or death. They have their whole lives ahead of them and believe that there will be time for estate planning when they are older. Hopefully, that is true, but catastrophic accidents or illnesses can occur without warning and, without some estate plan in place, family members could be left scrambling and spending a significant amount of time and money in court.
With the average age of the population rising, concerns about what will happen to elderly family members is coming into the forefront of elder law. Estate planning options, such as powers of attorney and living trusts, may be used to care for an elderly family member, but if those options are not available, it may be necessary to obtain a guardianship. The key for District of Columbia residents is to get a guardianship put into place before a loved one suffers any harm.
A great deal of detail and attention goes into creating an estate plan. Family members and the executor of the estate will need to have access to the information and details regarding the assets and other estate property in order to properly administer it. Otherwise, all of the time and effort put into estate planning by a District of Columbia resident could be for naught.
The definition of family has changed drastically in recent years. Many families in the District of Columbia are so-called "blended families," in which one or both spouses have children from a prior relationship and may also have children together. Attempting to satisfy everyone in this situation creates a challenge when it comes to estate planning.