What Any Estate Should Include

3:50 pm Uncategorized

People often enter into estate planning without really knowing what it entails. While California estate planning attorneys can help you understand certain intricacies, it’s best to know at least the scaffolding of what most estate plans include.

We have discussed many aspects California asset protection and estate planning on this blog, but for just a moment, let’s go back to basics as we enter the new year. What does an estate plan include, exactly?

A California estate planning attorney will tailor your estate to your financial desires. Your estate plan should include a final will; be sure this document is 100% current and names all beneficiaries accurately. Make sure was signed before at least two witnesses — if possible, discuss with your California estate planning lawyer how to attach witnesses’ signed affidavits to the will — this will make it self-probating in the event that the will is contested.

A power of attorney is also a staple of an estate plan. The person named as your power of attorney will act on your behalf to execute the wishes set forth in your will. This person will be in charge of decisions after you pass, but could also be responsible for decisions if you become incapacitated for any length of time. It’s important to consider who should fill this role with the help of an objective source such as your California estate planning lawyer.

A medical power of attorney is another “must have” item for your estate plan. This person will make decisions for you if healthcare professionals need to consult with someone due to incapacitation. Ensure that the person named to this role knows exactly what you want in terms of medical care — this person will be making decisions as your proxy, therefore his choices should be an identical mirror of choices you’d make for yourself. So, keep him informed of precisely what you want.

For many, an estate plan will also include a trust. As we have discussed on this blog, there are many kinds of trusts, so you’ll want to talk to your California estate planning attorney about which kind of trust(s) best suit your needs.

As we enter 2010, perhaps the best thing you can do if you haven’t already is to make a will. This will get you started on the road to planning your estate. Resolve to cover your financial bases in 2010 — your family deserves it and you’ve earned it… literally!

Happy New Year.

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

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