The new year has begun and it is a time that people often take a measure of their lives and make goals for the coming year. Estate planning can figure into some of these goals. Life changes such as getting married, the birth of a child or starting a new job can inspire a person to write a will in California. But is having a will in place enough to protect one’s estate assets?
A will is a good first step in protecting one’s heirs and determining how one’s affairs are to be handled after one’s death. But it is just a first step. A more detailed estate plan can help to avoid family squabbles, clarify health care directives and clarify the what, why and who of one’s final wishes.
A good way to approach a more in-depth estate planning project is to determine what your final wishes are, why that is so, and who will ensure that your wishes are carried out. A letter of instruction can be used to be specific about exactly who gets what. This can be important in large families or families where there has been more than one marriage. The person assigned to execute these decisions, the executor, will be tasked with making important decisions at an emotional time. Thought should be given to who is best able to do this and it does not necessarily have to be a spouse.
A comprehensive estate plan is made up of many components. The more thorough a plan, the more likely it is that one’s final wishes will be carried out as intended. Seeking the help of a California professional can help ensure that one’s final wishes are carried out as intended and that estate assets are protected.