In Alameda County, California, "estate planning" refers to the process by which a person makes arrangements related to their property after their death. It can (and should) also include personal issues that might come up immediately before and after a person's death.
The drafting of a will, which simply states what you wish to be done with your property after death, is usually one of the most critical parts of an estate plan. Of course, it's rarely the only one. There are many other things you might want to include, depending on your objectives.
For instance, a reputable estate plan will include a living will, which gives your family members and healthcare professionals instructions about your medical care, to be followed in the event you become incapacitated. You should also include your funeral arrangements, and your preference with respect to organ donation.
For anyone who has children who are still minors, it is very critical to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable occurs. You should think of a family member or extremely close friend who you know would be willing and able to take care of your children, and designate them as the person who would take custody. Of course, it's critical to discuss this matter with that person before you actually do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Alameda County, California?
This usually depends on your individual goals and priorities, your age, health, and the nature and quantity of your assets.
For instance, if you are in your 20's and unmarried, an estate plan likely does not need to be on your priorities, unless you are very ill, or independently wealthy.
If you're not married in Alameda County, California, but have a life partner, estate planning is essential. If you want your partner to be treated as your spouse, your estate plan should make arrangements to give him or her power of attorney in the event that you become incapacitated. Furthermore, your will should precisely name your partner as a beneficiary, if you want them to inherit any of your assets.
There is another large group of people who would benefit from having a good Alameda County, California estate plan: the elderly and those with a lot of money really need to consider making a comprehensive estate plan as soon as possible. While this necessarily involves facing some uncomfortable realities, it is critical and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Alameda County, California Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Alameda County, California is not always simple, the assistance of a reputable attorney will almost certainly be useful, and worth the cost. This is doubly true because of how critical the issues involved can be, and the fact that a relatively minor mistake can sometimes derail an entire estate plan.