No one is able to predict the future. As seen in recent months with the Coronavirus outbreak, uncertain times and unexpected events can pop up at a moment’s notice. With the spread of the disease impacting people’s lives in unimaginable ways, it is critical to always have a plan in place in the event of death or incapacitation. This can be done with the creation of an estate plan. In doing so, it can be beneficial to retain the services of an experienced California estate planning attorney to ensure you are making a plan that suits your wishes.
Why Should I Have a Will?
People tend to either inherit or collect many cherished belongings throughout their lifetime. These should be protected and taken care of as they are passed down through generations after the owner’s life is over. This can be done with a will in which a person can detail what they wish to happen to their assets in the event of their death. When a person dies without a will, it is known as dying “intestate.” In these situations, the deceased’s assets are distributed based on a succession schedule depending on their surviving family members. This can include children, parents, siblings, and grandparents. Having a will ensures assets do not fall into the wrong hands and there is no worry about where they would go if there was no plan in place.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney can be appointed in order to make life decisions on your behalf in the event that you are ever physically or mentally unable to do so yourself. For example, in the event of the Coronavirus, a person who is quarantined or in the hospital may need another person to handle certain matters for them. This can include paying bills, making bank deposits and withdrawals, obtaining medical records, filing tax returns, buying and selling property, hiring caretakers, transferring assets, and more.
What is an Advanced Health Care Directive?
Simply put, an advanced healthcare directive allows you to establish guidelines for the medical care you wish to receive in the event that you are physically or mentally unable to communicate your own wishes. This is also referred to as a living will, health care proxy, or power of attorney for healthcare. Once this person is appointed, they can handle any of the following tasks:
- Authorize loved ones to obtain medical records in emergency situations
- Indicate whether the document is effective immediately or upon a finding of incapacity
- Set the standard for determining your incapacity
- Communicate your wishes to receive or not receive life-saving care
- Ensure decisions are made in accordance with your beliefs, principles or religious practices
- Any additional health care wishes or concerns
Contact our Firm
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.