Estate planning can be challenging, but avoiding it can cause many problems for California residents and their heirs. Even if you only accomplish part of it, not accomplishing all essential components can unintentionally throw your family into disarray.
Problems can arise during the caregiving phase
Healthcare is an essential part of estate planning. Yet many individuals need to pay more attention to this essential aspect, instead only focusing on how they will leave their assets to their beneficiaries. Not having legal documents regarding who will manage your financial affairs and medical decisions if you become incapacitated, as well as what your end-of-life wishes are if you cannot otherwise convey them, can throw your immediate family into chaos if they have no clue regarding your wishes.
How to maintain order
If you need help determining what you have, organize your legal documents. Look for a durable power of attorney for healthcare and another for finances. You should also have a document commonly referred to as a living will. It’s different from the general will that you have, leaving specific items to specific individuals. A living will details how you want your healthcare to proceed if you cannot speak. The most common element involves resuscitation or non-resuscitation clauses.
Drafting essential agreements
Creating an “in case I die file” or ‘in case I am incapacitated” file is an act of love. Thoughtful planning can go a long way, not only for your heirs but for yourself.
These documents do not have to be complicated. Nevertheless, expressing your wishes in writing will remove the guesswork when the time comes for your children to take over your essential needs.