It does not matter what your marital status is, having a comprehensive estate plan in place is just plain responsible. If you are single and thought that you did not need to make a big effort to meet with an estate planning lawyer, you are incorrect. Making a plan is the best way to ensure that your assets are all passed down to the right people. Your plan can also help you care for loved ones and give them what they need. A Woodland Hills, California estate planning attorney can help you with that.
What Are the Benefits of Having an Estate Plan?
Having an estate plan means that you are in complete control of where your assets go when you are gone. If you want to leave certain things to certain people, this is essentially the only way you are going to be able to do that. Your estate plan can also include provisions for:
- Trusts, including ones that can help provide care for a loved one or pet
- Charitable donations
- Choosing who gets power of attorney
This last part is extremely important. Giving someone power of attorney means that they can make decisions for you when you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to make choices for yourself. Financial power of attorney allows someone to make financial decisions for you, while medical power of attorney allows someone to make your healthcare decisions for you. You can give both of these powers to the same person or choose one agent for each.
Having someone already designated to act with your power of attorney can save your family from stress later. So make building your own estate plan a top priority.
Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?
You are not technically required to hire an estate planning lawyer, but these are legal documents that you are dealing with. Having a lawyer to explain everything to you can be helpful. It can also ensure that documents like wills are legally binding and compatible with strict state laws.
What Happens If I Do Not Have a Plan?
California does have provisions for times when someone passes away without a clear estate plan. Your assets will be distributed through the probate process under “intestate succession” laws. This essentially means that your closest relatives will get everything, with your children receiving first priority. This may be fine for some people, but if you wanted more control over who gets your things you need a detailed estate plan.
The exceptions here are any assets that already have a beneficiary named. This can include real estate with a deed that will transfer upon your death and life insurance policies with a chosen beneficiary.
Schedule an Appointment With an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
At the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, we have helped plenty of California families plan for the inevitable. Let one of our estate planning lawyers put their experience to work for you now. Schedule an appointment with our law firm today.