As December turns to January, many Californians turn to thoughts of the year to come and beyond. On occasion, in addition to dieting or joining a gym, this may include thoughts concerning estate planning. It can be difficult to contemplate one’s own mortality but failing to provide for one’s heirs can cause chaos and heartache at an already difficult time. Conversely, if a person does have a plan in place but has not revisited it in some years, a review may be called for.
If a person already has a plan in place but hasn’t revisited it, there are things to consider. These considerations can also benefit the person who is just beginning the estate planning journey. There are many reasons one may need to update a plan such as the birth of a child, change in marital status or employment just to name a few. One question to ask, regardless if a person is reviewing or just beginning a plan, concerns the structure of the plan and if it is set up in such a way to allow for efficient administration and minimal effort, expense and controversy in the event of one’s passing.
Other issues to consider might be health care directives, also known as living wills. This allows a person to designate an individual to make decisions regarding one’s health care in the event that a person becomes physically or mentally incapacitated. Another issue people sometimes don’t consider regards adult children. Have they set up basic estate plans that allow a parent or other person to handle their affairs in the event of mental or physical disability?
Estate planning can appear to be a large and sometimes overwhelming task in California. Consulting with a lawyer experienced in crafting comprehensive plans can simplify it. A knowledgeable attorney can assist with a comprehensive review of one’s financial and other affairs and help to create a plan that provides for one’s heirs and allows a person’s final wishes to be successfully carried out.