Estate Planning In California, California

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In California, 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 encompass personal issues that might come up immediately before and after a person's death.

One of the first things an estate planner will ask you about when you come to them for help is what you want to put in your will. A will is a document which says who is going to get your property after your death. Once it is proven valid, a will is binding, meaning that the beneficiaries get legal ownership of whatever is left to them. Obviously, if you have any interest in what is done with your property after you die, a will is going to be at the center of your estate plan. However, it is rarely the only part of a solid estate plan.

A solid estate plan will also include instructions to your doctors about your preferences for end of life care, in case you become unable to express them. This is recognized as a "living will." It should also include instructions about funeral arrangements and organ donation.

Perhaps most vitally, your estate plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your minor children, if you have any. Of course, you should discuss this matter with the person you intend to take custody of the children beforehand, to ensure that they are able and willing to provide proper care.

What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in California, California?

Obviously, the answer to this depends on many factors, as well as your goals and preferences. However, most people, when deciding what type of estate plan they need, consider their health, age, and wealth.

If you are in good health, young, and not married, planning an estate is probably not a high priority. And at this point in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very dangerous jobs, or who are very wealthy.

Individuals who are, for different possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good California, California estate plan. Because couples who aren't married don't automatically get any of the legal rights (such as hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and power of attorney) that come with marriage, they have to secure these rights through other means, such as wills and power of attorney agreements.

There is another massive group of people who would benefit from having a good California, 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 contains facing some uncomfortable realities, it is critical and unavoidable.

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Do I Need a California, California Estate Planning Attorney?

Because estate planning in California, California can involve some convoluted legal and financial issues, it is essential to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.

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