More and more people are recognizing the need to have an estate plan in place, even if they are at the beginning of their careers and adult lives in California. There are still almost 64 percent of Americans without a last will and testament. Estate planning can help ensure that a person’s final wishes are carried out as he or she intends.
There are many possible pieces to an estate plan, but there are some basic documents that should be considered an integral part of any plan. These documents may consist of a last will and testament, a health care proxy and a power of attorney. These documents form a good basis for building an estate plan.
A will can help ensure that any belongings and assets held in the deceased’s name will be distributed according to his or her instructions after his or her death. A power of attorney document allows for someone else to make decisions regarding finances and other decisions should a person not be capable of doing so due to physical or mental impairment. A health care proxy informs the family and medical professionals of a person’s wishes regarding medical care if a person becomes incapacitated.
A person considering an estate plan in California may wish to review these and other documents with an experienced estate planning attorney. The lawyer can review the belongings and assets of an individual and assist him or her in making the estate planning decisions necessary to ensure that final wishes are carried out according to his or her client’s wishes. Having an estate plan in place can provide peace of mind.