Long Beach Estate Planning Attorneys
People are always planning, whether they realize it or not. They plan simple things like what to wear, what to do with spare time and where to go on vacation. They plan bigger things such as how much to put away for retirement or when to start a college fund for the kids. One thing many people don’t plan for is what happens after they are gone.
One thing is certain about death; you can’t take anything with you. Whether you have millions in cash and assets or merely own a car and have a few thousand dollars in savings, you need to determine what happens to your belongings. You also need to determine what happens to you, before and after you die. That’s why estate planning is so important.
Estate Plans Include
- Wills & Trusts
Wills specify who gets the personal and real property of a person after they die. California residents with $150,000 or less in cash, property and assets should have a will. Residents worth over $150,000 need a living trust. With a living trust, you choose a person or entity to handle the assets you leave behind. Making the trust a Revocable Living Trust gives you the option of changing the document’s provisions at any time.
- Trustees & Beneficiaries
A trustee is the person or entity left in charge of managing your trust until the beneficiaries claims their inheritance. A beneficiary is the person or people you decide will inherit your assets. Trustees are typically put in place to manage trusts when beneficiaries are too you or immature to handle the estate themselves.
- Power of Attorney
Power of attorney gives another person the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you can’t do so on alone. This legal document may be temporary or permanent. Typically put in place for financial issues when a person dies, it may also cover childcare after a parent dies and healthcare directives if a person is so ill they are unable to speak or take care of themselves.
- Medical Directives
Usually included in a living trust, a medical directive states a person’s wishes regarding their medical treatment if they are seriously ill or involved in an accident. Many times a patient suffers a stroke or brain injury or fall into a coma, and they are unable to state their wishes. Medical directives take the guess work and stress out of determining what to do in these situations because the patient has already made clear what to do.
Without an Estate Plan
Setting up an estate plan is something many people don’t think they need. Some of those who know they need one will often put off creating it because they think they can do it later. Since death is not a scheduled event, there is really no reason to think you have plenty of time.
Without an estate plan, your healthcare decisions belong to people who may not know what you want. Your assets are subject to California intestate succession laws, which means the state has a hand in determining your heirs and what your heirs inherit. Do you want to leave those decisions up to the state?
Making an Estate Plan
Without an understanding or wills, probate, estate plans and other inheritance issues, it may be difficult to create a legal document that clearly expresses what you want. Attorneys at Southern California’s leading elder law firm handle these issues every day. We understand how complex and challenging it is to determine what happens to your assets after you’re gone.
No one wants to think about death, but it is a reality. Another reality is getting to the end of life and being unable to say how you want your affairs handled. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Let our expert team of estate planning lawyers help you through the process. With our decades of experience, we will create the exact document you want. Call us to find out how an estate plan can meet your needs now and in the future.
Contact The Lakewood Estate Planning Lawyers Of The California Elder Law Center PC
Effective estate planning can provide real peace of mind. Turn to the California Elder Law Center PC for help building an estate plan that will create a legally enforceable plan for your future and the future of your estate. Schedule a free consultation with one of the attorneys by calling 562-377-7710 or toll free 877-377-7411, or by simply contacting us on-line.