In Atascadero, 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 important 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 important to discuss this matter with that person before you actually do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Atascadero, California?
This usually depends on your individual goals and priorities, your age, health, and the nature and quantity of your assets.
If you are in good health, young, and not married, planning an estate is likely not a high priority. And at this time in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very hazardous jobs, or who are very wealthy.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Atascadero, California is absolutely crucial: adults who are not married, but have a life partner who they'd like to provide for in the event of death. There are many rights that automatically attach with marriage, such as the right to inherit if a spouse dies without a will, the right to make medical decisions for the other spouse if they become incapacitated, etc. If you and your partner are, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to get married, you will have to take several steps to secure these rights, such as authorizing power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
There is another large group of people who would benefit from having a good Atascadero, 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 important and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Atascadero, California Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be a perplexing process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Atascadero, California who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.