When you consider planning for your estate, it can seem like something which can wait until you are older and have more assets. However, having a solid estate plan is essential for everyone regardless of their circumstances. Here are some important California estate planning goals for any age:
Goal #1: Finish your Estate Plan
Each year, countless California residents die without having an estate plan in place. Often, this oversight happens because people believe that they will have plenty of time to finish preparing for the future. Unfortunately, unexpected situations can occur without warning. Without an estate plan, you could end up leaving decisions about your assets, medical care, and even custody of your children up to the California legal system. That is why it is essential that you prioritize completing your estate plan now. That way, you will have the peace of mind of knowing your house is in order, and your loved ones will not be burdened with having to manage these issues without your direction. Set a date to have your plan finished and stick to it.
Goal #2: Create a Will and Make Sure it’s Current
Your will is the document which states exactly where you want your assets to go when you die. It can also indicate your preferences about how you want other aspects of your estate to be handled, including guardianship of your children. When executed correctly, your will can be irrefutable evidence of what you want to happen after you are gone. This vital document also allows you to nominate the personal representative of your choosing to oversee the management of your estate during probate. Make sure you have a will and that you revisit its terms every few years to make sure it reflects your wishes and complies with California law.
Goal #3: Get Your Advanced Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney
In California, an Advanced Health Care Directive (power of attorney for health care) allows you to designate an agent who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are not able to do so. You may also use this device to provide specific instructions to your medical care providers about your treatment. It’s not always possible to know when you may become incapacitated. That is why everyone should have this critical document as part of their estate plan. Likewise, you will need to designate someone to make financial decisions through a power of attorney for finances. This person can protect and manage your assets if you become incapacitated. Without these important measures, vital decisions about your care and fiscal interest may be left up to relatives or someone appointed by the court.
Having a plan for your estate and care will not only give you peace of mind, but will also ensure that your loved ones understand your wishes. Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we have experience with California estate planning and can help you create a comprehensive plan for the future. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation today so we can help you explore your options and start your solution. /