Estate planning is most commonly understood to be a last will and testament; regarding how your possessions are to be dispersed to the people you leave behind. If this was the case, many could entrust the nearest blood relative to take care of such necessities, and any unjust recommendations or actions could be understood since the person doing so is the closest living relative. First and foremost, estate planning is much more clinical and far reaching than doling out possessions. Secondly, it is not always in a person’s best interest to allow the court (and the corresponding relegating party) to determine what is fair in both the distribution of your estate, as well as the burdens involved in one’s ultimate demise, such as funeral arrangements and cost, who should determine what beneficiaries receive, and how to tend to leftover affairs (for example left over debt). Estate planning also involves what one’s wishes are when incapacitated, in a vegetative state, and/or in a coma. How your affairs will be resolved, both financially and physical considerations, are detailed when properly outlining your estate plan. There are also a multitude of legalities that need to be carefully diagnosed. The less prepared you are, the more likely your passing will create a greater burden on your loved ones than you intended. There will also be less positives to go around because you didn’t properly address tax issues regarding your possessions and wealth, so your beneficiaries will get less and the government will receive more. That is why, in addition to educating yourself, you should consult with a professional, such as LA Probate Law.
Power of Attorney and Living Wills
Many instances will first enact power of attorney. Power of attorney is a quite convenient way of allowing an entrusted individual (or firm/trust) to represent you in a multitude of capacities. When you give someone your power of attorney, they will have the proxy to represent you at any meetings, sign your name on documents including contracts and checks (from your bank accounts). They will also be able to make medical and legal decisions on your behalf, both if you become incapacitated and if you are in decent health. This, among others, makes your decision on whom to appoint this important position not so simple. People tend to relegate this responsibility to their best friend, sibling, or simply who they like the best. An individual needs to look deeper though. One must appoint the person whom they believe to be the most grounded, unbiased, and hold dear the same values. It is quite alarming how often an ill-suited power of attorney tends to hold their own best interest in these decisions, rather than the entity or person they assumed the responsibility to represent. In many instances, the best way to find an unbiased delegate to assume this responsibility is to hire a firm or law office to hold this power. In Southern California, more and more people are turning to LA Probate Law to hold this important role.
Probate law, as in all facets of law, is incredibly intricate and complex, often complicated to non-professionals. This is why it is strongly suggested that you consult with professionals regarding your estate planning. Many firms offer services to help educate, simplify, explain, and/or dictate what is in your best interests. Your best bet is to allow a specialist to help, such as the experienced professionals at LA Probate Law. An authorized law firm, specializing in such arenas as estate planning and probate law can help you decide what would make you secure and know that your intended wishes are carries out. You can simply consult a law firm and follow through on your own with the peace of mind that you learned truths from a law professional or you can hire thee law firms to actually lay out your entire estate planning, from power of attorney, to living trusts and wills, to what will happen following your passing.
So we already spoke of power of attorney. Another important part of your care to consider while “still living” should be your living will. This will dictate what health decisions should be made should you become incapacitated; fall in to a coma, or another form of a vegetative state. It will also address what should become of your possessions, your property, your finances, and your immediate family, for example if you have children. Just like when you deliberately found an unbiased power of attorney that has your best interest in mind, having a living will can give them the peace of mind they need to not make their own best decision on your behalf, but to follow through on your wishes. With these two tools in conjunction, you can feel secure that your wishes and best interests are being considered. If you need help deciphering what you should do, consult a legal professional like LA Probate Law.
Power of attorney and living wills are merely the beginning of your final estate planning needs. You need to consider other factors such as your possessions, beneficiaries, trusts, post death considerations, and executors. With the aforementioned information you realize that each aspect of estate planning has a multitude of facets that correspond with each category. Your best option is to have professionals hold your hand through this process. Many individuals have expressed their feeling of security after consulting and/or hiring LA Probate Law.
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