So, what is this “Homework?” Well it’s basically a list of things to consider before meeting with our Redwood City estate planning attorney.
The last two weeks were 1) the financial information you should gather and 2) if you’re a parent, some things to consider when selecting a guardian (See our past post here).
In addition to our weekly “Homework” assignments, we have decided to post on the TOP 4 (MUST HAVE) Estate Planning Documents to help you stay even more organized!
TOP 4 (MUST HAVE) ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS
1. Will: A will gives instructions for distributing property that you own, upon your death, through the probate process. A will is essential if you have minor children, as this is the only way you can name a guardian for them. Some wills are simple, while others may include complex planning provisions, depending on each particular circumstance.
2. Advance Health Care Directive: An Advance Health Care Directive or AHCD is a document that designates someone to act for your regarding medical care should you become incapacitated. This document will also determine if and how long you stay on life support. So, if at some point you can’t state your wishes regarding health care, someone you love and trust will be assigned to make those decisions for you.
3. Durable Power of Attorney: A Durable Power of Attorney or a DPA gives someone the authority to handle all of your finances and property should you become unable to. This document will allow a person of your choosing to sell, invest, spend and otherwise manage your finances for a specific time identified in the document. The agent you select will be able to handle everything without needed a court order.
4. Living Trust: By transferring your assets to a living trust, you are able to protect your assets if you pass away. Assets that are properly placed in a trust avoid probate- this is key and that’s why a will alone is not sufficient to avoid probate. Generally, you are the trustee for your trust and if something happens to you, you will have already named a successor trustee to handle your affairs. (You ask why is MUST HAVE in parentheses? Well, because if you don’t own property or have certain assets, you probably don’t need #4).
At the Law Office of Carmen M. Rosas, we design plans specific to your needs. Not every client is the same and not every client has the same story. We want to hear your story!
If you liked this post, subscribe, and never miss a post again. And, if you really liked it, shoot us an e-mail and request one our other handy dandy reference guides for FREE: (Please let us know which ones you want!)
- 12 Tips for Choosing a Guardian
- Things to Consider in Selecting a Guardian
And stay tuned for our e-book, coming soon!