At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in California, we help many individuals and families establish their estate plans. A health care directive represents one of the most important estate planning tools you can use. This document sets forth your preferences as to the end-of-life medical care you want and do not want at the point where you become incapacitated in some way and can no longer make those decisions for yourself.
As a California resident, you may have heard your friends and/or family members talking about their estate plans on occasion. Depending on who they are and what their own estate plans include, they may have used such words as “will,” “living trust,” “health care directive,” “financial power of attorney,” or any number of other words or terms.
As a financially responsible Californian, you likely have always personally handled all your finances from balancing your checkbook to keeping track of your 401(k). You may even own a family business or professional practice that requires you to make long-term financial decisions as well as day-to-day operational decisions. But what if you become ill or injured and cannot do these things for yourself?
As you are making estate planning decisions in California, there are many things you need to consider. You not only need to think about what happens after your death, but you also need to make decisions regarding end-of-life issues. While it may be unpleasant to think about these concerns, it can save your loved ones a great deal of distress if you make these decisions now.
In order to make a valid Last Will and Testament in California, you must have the testamentary capacity to do so. As the Orange County Bar explains, testamentary capacity, i.e., legal mental capacity, and general mental capacity are defined differently.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in California, we are firm believers in the value of estate planning for all families regardless of their wealth. Why? Because your estate plan is the only way you can ensure that whatever your wishes and goals pertaining to your assets, someone will carry them out for you should you become incapacitated or die.
If you are a Californian starting to think about the type of medical and/or end-of-life care you wish to receive, you may want to consider executing an advance directive that sets forth your wishes and desires. As the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization explains, advance directives can go by several other names as well, such as a living will, medical power of attorney, health care proxy, etc.
If you are a sophisticated California estate planner, your estate plan likely consists of a will and several trusts. Have you ever wondered how many kinds of trusts you can choose from? As FindLaw explains, the answer is “many.” All of them, however, fall into two basic categories: revocable and irrevocable. All of them also have three basic parties: the grantor, the beneficiary or beneficiaries, and the trustee.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in California, we help individuals like you devise an estate plan that meets their goals and objectives of providing for themselves and their families. No matter what you seek to accomplish by means of your will and trust(s), we can help you achieve it.
A generation-skipping trust is one methodology by which wealthy Californians can pass their estates down through the family without facing the double estate taxation that other methodologies often entail. As Investor Guide explains, a generation-skipping trust generally names the grantor’s grandchildren as beneficiaries of the trust. By bypassing the grantor’s children, the family saves the estate taxes they would have to pay if the children first inherited, followed later by their own children.