Most people create their estate plans with only their loved ones in mind. The truth is, though, that estate planning is not just for them. Whether one resides in California or elsewhere, an estate plan is about protecting one's future and one's voice, not just about protecting assets and beneficiaries.
Everyone knows that, at some point, they are going to die. It is inevitable. So they make plans for how their assets are to be distributed when it actually happens. Many people fail to think about what will happen to them and their loved ones should they become incapacitated. This is a mistake.
An estate plan can cover both of these areas. It is not just a one or the other kind of document. So yes, make plans for how an estate should be handled in the event of one's death, but take the time to consider how things should be taken care of in the event of one's incapacitation. There are various documents needed to make sure all of the proper protections are put in place. These include:
- Advance directives
- Power of attorney
- Revocable living trust
- HIPPA release
- Organ donation authorization
California residents who are not sure which estate planning documents they need to make sure they are completely protected are not alone. There are a lot out there and it can all get quite confusing. This is where an experienced estate planning attorney can help. With legal counsel guiding one through the process, it is possible to create a complete plan that offers all the protections needed and desired.
Source: Forbes, "The Biggest Estate Planning Mistake People Make", Brad Wiewel, Aug. 16, 2017