As the year draws to an end in California, one’s thoughts may be drawn to a review of the year almost passed and plans for the year about to begin. Plans for the new year may include taking steps to protect one’s family for the future. No one relishes the idea of contemplating the end of his or her life, but the fact remains that no one gets out of this life alive. Engaging one’s family in estate planning may be difficult to contemplate, but it will help make a difficult time easier for all involved.
Many pieces of the pie that may go into an estate plan are fairly obvious. What are one’s assets and are they wholly owned or held in partnership? Who is in one’s family? Should there be a trust? Are there minor children to be provided for and who will be their designated guardians?
Another important point is that an estate plan is not something that is crafted and then forgotten about. As one’s life changes, so should a person’s planning documents. A plan should be revisited and revised as needed after any significant life change, such as the birth of a child, a change in income or a change in one’s health, to name a few.
No one wants to contemplate his or her own death. However, preparation for the unknown can ease the process for those left behind in California. Carefully crafted estate planning can do away with many questions often faced by loved ones at a difficult time. Having a clear expression of one’s final wishes and information regarding assets and other important information can be a priceless gift.