Making preparations for dividing up your estate, assets, and possessions is not an easy task, but it is necessary for older Californians to prepare themselves in order to take care of the people they love. Estate planning involves taking stock of your personal wealth and possessions, as well as making plans for who will manage your finances and make health and life decisions as you age. Contacting an estate planning lawyer in California is a good first step.
In planning your estate, attorneys recommend examining all of your assets, and making a list of the people in your life that you would like to include as your benefactors. Estate planning does not only mean writing your will, but also drawing up documents to appoint a power of attorney, as well as planning for financial, tax, and medical needs. Your will should detail which possessions should be left to whom, and how best to divide your property, and other assets. Additionally, you should choose someone to act on your behalf, in the distribution of these assets, and the execution of your wishes.
The person you select to handle your affairs, either while you are incapable of doing so, or after you are gone, should be a trusted family member or financial advisor. This person will be in charge of ensuring that your needs will be taken care of. If you become unable to take care of yourself, or need long-term medical care, the person you appoint will be able to navigate the elder care system in the state, and make financial decisions for you to receive the best care.
Your estate plan should have plans for who will handle your financial affairs on your behalf, including paying your bills and taxes, and managing any investments you have set up. If the person you have selected is not financially savvy, or if you are not, you should work with a financial advisor and an estate planning lawyer in your county to establish a working plan that protects your assets.
Estate planning also includes making decisions on any minors in your care. Should you become unable to take care of the children in your home, you should have a guardian—or several—lined up who will give those children a loving home. The same goes for your spouse or other loved ones—if you are incapacitated, you need to have a plan for who will take care of them, especially if you are the financial provider.
Although making plans for your own death is never an easy task, it must be done to ensure that your loved ones will not be left with uncertainty about your last wishes. Planning ahead also gives you an opportunity to allocate funds, to keep your loved ones from the increasingly high costs of planning a funeral. Estate planning lawyers in California say that your plan should include steps to keep your loved ones debt-free, as much as possible.
The estate planning lawyers at the Evans Law Firm help older Californians plan out what to do with their retirement, and how best to handle their estate and distribute their assets between their loved ones. Call today for a consultation: 415-441-8669.