Having an estate plan in place is an excellent way to help make sure your loved ones are provided for and protected. Although many people believe that having a will is enough, in order to have a comprehensive estate plan, you will need to address several key areas. Here are five ways to improve your California Estate Plan:
Nobody wants to think about their eventual death, no matter how old or young they are. However, California residents may want to consider expressing their funeral wishes in their will planning, especially if they are specific or complicated. You may be reassured to learn that planning your funeral does not have to be time-consuming or overly complex.
If you are a reasonably well-to-do Californian, you likely already have an estate plan in place or are currently constructing one. If you have established one or more trusts as part of your plan, most if not all of them probably are revocable. As you continue to accumulate wealth, you can therefore revoke most of your trusts and establish others. You may want to start thinking about establishing a dynasty trust.
If you are like many California residents, you think that only wealthy people need estate plans. Unfortunately, this common misconception puts many families in untenable situations when a loved one dies. It can also cause major problems when a loved one cannot communicate his or her wishes with regard to medical care because of injury or illness, but no one really knows what (s)he wants or does not want.
Some forms of an inheritance you may look forward to, such as cash or the family vacation home. You may also cherish the heirlooms you grew up with, like your mother’s fine china or your father’s vintage vinyl collection. Other things you receive after your parents’ death, however, you may not have the room for or you are simply not interested in having in your home. Before you throw away these items, you should understand how an estate sale can help you and other California residents in the same situation.
It is a very good idea for every adult in California to have a comprehensive estate plan, but if you live with a partner to whom you are not married, having legal documentation in place to describe the role that he or she is to play in your end-of-life plans becomes even more important. Laws and customs automatically confer certain rights to married couples but presume no such provisions for unmarried couples no matter how long they have lived together.
Here at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in California, we help families, both new and established, devise estate plans that meet their current and future needs. We realize, however, that many people labor under the misconception that only wealthy people need estate plans. Nothing could be further from the truth.