Newport Beach Estate Planning: The “Must-Have” Estate Planning Documents

2:01 am Uncategorized

Even if you have the best Newport Beach estate planning attorney, there are some things you should know as someone planning an estate. Perhaps the most important thing to know about are the specific documents that apply when planning any estate. Whether your main focus is protecting your assets in California or you simply want to ensure that you are cared for in the event of incapacitation, or your priority is to secure your estate for the loved ones you leave behind, each of these documents is a cornerstone of your estate.

A California last will and testament is where you begin. If you have previously drafted a will that is no longer current, it is imperative that your first priority be to update this will. A will is where you decide who will be the guardian of your child(ren) and where you will name the beneficiaries of your estate. If you do not have an up-to-date will, any trust you have created with the help of your Newport Beach asset protection lawyer may not be executable — certainly not without probate.

A California durable power of attorney is another crucial document. This document will name the person who may act on your behalf in a number of situations; if you become mentally incompetent or otherwise incapacitated, this person will handle all manner of financial transactions, including paying bills, handling bank accounts and insurance matters. This person may also have access to your estate and have the responsibility to decide who gets what in the event of your death. This is a unique document for everyone and how it is written will determine how much responsibility the power of attorney has.

A California healthcare directive will name your medical power of attorney. This person is entrusted with matters of your health when you are unable to make decisions yourself. Your medical power of attorney will be charged with carrying out the wishes you delineate in your healthcare directive. This can mean making decisions about organ donation, burial, and so on. Just because you know who this person is in your own mind does not mean they will be allowed to make these decisions — hence the importance of including their name and all of your wishes in writing in your healthcare directive.

A California living trust will name and hold any real property you own. While a living trust has other benefits that we have previously discussed on this blog, as a cornerstone of Newport Beach estate planning, the living trust allows you to name beneficiaries, keep real estate from undue taxation, and above all, help your loved ones avoid time consuming probate.

If you have questions about what documents you may need in addition to these, contact your Newport Beach asset protection lawyer today for more details.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.

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