Estate planning is an important part of an individual’s financial planning efforts. Specifically, if you have dependents, having a detailed and effective plan in place will ensure the disbursement of your estate is carried out based on your wishes. When dependants are a consideration, this is particularly important. A solid estate plan will ensure those that you plan on receiving a portion of your estate will receive it the way you intend after you pass.
Often, individuals think of estate planning as setting up a will. It is a common part of the process, but there are many options that go into what makes a good estate plan that fits each person’s goals. Sometimes a will alone is not enough. Even though beginning the process of creating a California will is a good start, you may find that during the process, a will by itself will not cover all the aspects of your estate that you may need to be covered.
What is a Will and What Does It Do?
A will is a legal document where you have the power to pick a beneficiary or more than one beneficiary to inherit your estate. It also provides guidelines on how you want the assets in your estate to be distributed. Additionally, if you want to leave a message or final words for your friends and loved ones, you can do so in a will. What a will does, is set up a blueprint for defining the way that you want your estate to be managed and dispersed after you have passed on. What a will does not do is provide protection if you are incapacitated for some reason, not to mention you gain no tax benefits from the creation of a California will.
So, what do you need to close the loopholes of incapacitation or to gain tax benefits when considering an appropriate estate plan? Surely, if you want to include these extra features, then you will need a more comprehensive plan. Accidents happen every day and can happen to anyone. A devastating accident that is life-changing or even an illness leaving you alive but unable to care for yourself is a game-changer. You should have included in your estate plan a means to protect yourself should a tragedy occur. Additionally, your final plan should specifically provide instructions for the executor of your estate to follow when you die or are incapacitated.
To develop a strong estate plan that accounts for all of these factors you should absolutely include a will but also have any or all of the following legal documents:
- Healthcare power of attorney
- A financial power of attorney
- Advance directives
Should You Speak with a California Estate Planning Attorney?
It would be wise to use a professional for such important tasks as estate planning. As you work through the process with a qualified and skilled California estate planning attorney, you may come to the conclusion that putting together a trust is a better route than a will. Every person’s estate planning needs differ but the important thing is to start the process. If you are unsure of what is best for you, speaking with a Los Angeles estate planning attorney at Leiva Law is essential to making informed decisions for your final plans.
Contact the California probate and will lawyers at Leiva Law today to schedule your free consultation by calling (818) 703-1777.