When considering end-of-life plans, a person should not limit themselves to simply making a will. One’s future goals and well-being depend on other types of estate planning documents also. In fact, a will can be considered a document made for other people, but powers of attorney, advance directives and revocable living trusts are focused on ensuring that the individual’s needs are being met. California residents may find some relief when planning for the future when armed with this information.
There are a few types of powers of attorney that are important to comprehensive estate planning. A medical power of attorney allows a designated individual to make important health decisions on another person’s behalf should he or she become incapacitated. Then there is the power of attorney and durable power of attorney. Each of these designations allow a person to make financial decisions on another person’s behalf, but only the durable power of attorney is effective if the individual becomes unable to participate in the decision-making process.
An advance directive or living will allows an individual to set the guidelines for the type of medical care that one may desire should he or she become seriously ill and unable to decide for themselves. This document sets a person’s desires in writing so that if the time comes for hard decisions, one’s desires are already known. Other medical considerations include HIPAA release and organ donation.
An inclusive estate plan allows one to set guidelines in place for future goals. In California, a person planning for end-of-life needs does not have to face the process alone. Individuals can and typically do choose to consult with an attorney for guidance with estate planning.
Source: Forbes, “The Biggest Estate Planning Mistake People Make,” Brad Wiewel, Aug. 16, 2017