Those who are young and still trying to get established don't typically think of the need to put together an estate plan. The truth is, though, estate planning is not just for older adults. Millennials in California and elsewhere can also benefit from having certain legal protections in place in the event of their deaths or incapacitation.
When preparing one's estate, there are so many little and big things to consider that it can feel overwhelming. Going it alone is not necessarily the wisest choice, as items of significant importance may be overlooked. For example, if one has minor children, naming a guardian is the best way to ensure that they are raised by someone that one trusts. Appointing guardianship of minor children is something that parents in California can do during the estate planning process.
Many people may wonder what the point is of creating estate plans if they do not have any children or other heirs to which they want to pass on their assets. This is a reasonable thought. However, estate planning is something that all California residents can benefit from; it is not meant just for those who have kids.
Figuring out how to pass on one's estate can seem like an impossible task. There are those who do not know where to start and others who just want to put it off because they believe it can wait. No one knows when their time will be up, though, so waiting could result in one's estate being placed in a state of limbo after his or her death -- such as in the Prince estate case. By not at least having beneficiaries listed anywhere, the administration of his estate is going to take quite some time. This is something that California residents can easily avoid.
Getting an estate plan prepared and fully in place takes quite a bit of effort. If mistakes are made, it can make all the time spent worthless. One fairly common mistake made by people in California and elsewhere is not funding trusts. What good is a trust if assets are never placed in its care?
Naming a personal representative to handle one's affairs when needed can be a challenging decision. Will this power go to a parent, an adult child, one's spouse or a close friend? This is a very personal decision, one that every person will treat differently. What happens, though, if after the decision is made, that trusted individual turns out not to be so trustworthy? Do California laws allow for powers of attorney be terminated?
Numerous California residents are without estate plans. In the event of death or incapacitation, this leaves them, their families and their assets vulnerable. It is possible to ensure self and family protections, as well as asset preservation by taking the time to plan one's estate.
No one expects to become incapacitated, but it happens either due to age, accident or illness. When it does, having a clear plan in place for how one wants to be medically treated can help prevent issues among family members and health care providers. For this reason, California residents may want to consider including health care directives in their estate plans.
Considering that probating a decedent's entire estate can take between nine and 18 months (or longer for more complex estates), it's worth knowing the options for minimizing probate costs or avoiding probate altogether.
When creating your estate plan there is a lot of information to process and a million things to consider. It can feel overwhelming as the pressure and anxiety about making sure you have everything sufficiently covered can weigh down on you. By seeking legal assistance, the process does not have to feel like a such burden, and California residents can make sure nothing has been overlooked -- for example, failing to assign powers of attorney.