Estate Planning Overview
LA Probate Law explains that we all need to prepare for the inevitable. It is not a subject people are fond of speaking of, but the burdens left behind when we pass and don’t prepare, are much less bearable than addressing them in a responsible manner. The best way to attain the proper set up is to consult with a probate lawyer who will explain what needs are necessary for your particular situation and give you an all-encompassing understanding of the various options available to you and your family. You will also learn about other options and procedures to lessen the burden on loved ones in the event of your passing or should you fall victim to incapacitation.
Living Wills and Powers of Attorney
One aspect often overlooked in estate planning is situations that arise in which an individual needs help before they pass away. Whether due to old age or an accident leaving someone incapacitated, there are many options and decisions that may have to be rendered. LA Probate Law explains that a living will is a responsible document that everyone could use for the benefit of their family. In such a document, you can decide for yourself what kind of care you’d like to receive in the event you become incapacitated, fall into a vegetative state, or fall into a coma, whether by your body failing or medically induced to pacify any suffering. These are decisions that bring a lot of stress and grief to family members and loved ones, especially when they don’t really know what you would want. Yet if you simply take some time to consult an estate planning professional, you can address these questions on your own terms, with the clarity of being healthy and of sound mind and body. Another pre-death aspect of estate planning is appointing someone to hold power of attorney in your affairs. This is a very noble and important position and should not be made lightly. It is essential that you make the decision of who will hold this power with your head, and not your heart. You need someone level headed and trustworthy, mostly because this is binding and goes into effect immediately, not when and if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to address your own affairs. Power of attorney gives an individual the legal ability to do anything on your behalf, whether it is signing documents, making decisions on your behalf in a multitude of arenas, or even signing checks and having control of your finances. It is quite easy to see why trust is paramount in your selection of power of attorney.
Wills, Executors, and Beneficiaries
This is the aspect of estate planning that people are most familiar with. When drawing up a will, the first step is creating an inventory of all your possessions and cataloging them so you can see what the task will actually entail. You must also take into consideration any outstanding debts that may exist, because, obviously, your debts and taxes will be addressed before anyone you care about receive anything from your property. Then you must decide who you would like to receive what. Some things to consider are care of your children. Many times the person who would legally be in charge of the care for your children are not the people you would necessarily choose. This is your opportunity to legally document who you would decide to care for them. Speaking of minors, many times you would want to include a trust in your last will and testament so children can receive their inheritance when they become of responsible age. There are a multitude of options available when setting up a trust and a probate professional, for example LA Probate Law, could outline your options, such as paying a minor when they turn 18, setting up monthly or yearly payments, or whatever else you may have in mind. You also need to document what kind of ceremony you desire after your passing. Often, when someone passes, family members aren’t sure what the deceased would have wanted. Then this decision is made spur of the moment, a moment of stress and mourning, when all of this could have been avoided by addressing it while alive and healthy. Finally, you must also select and executor to take care of your wishes and deliver the inheritances to the beneficiaries. Much like previously explained about power of attorney, this is another decision that must be made with your brain and not your emotions or feelings. You must select someone you trust because they will be in a position where, without solid values, an individual without virtues could take advantage with little repercussion. If you are uncomfortable for any reason, you could appoint and hire a professional to take care of this position. This is often a good idea because a probate professional is incredibly unbiased and will just follow your wishes exactly as laid out in your will. This is just a brief overview. Attending a consultation, usually available without obligation, would be a terrific first step in educating yourself and realizing what decisions you need to make before beginning this responsible endeavor. The most important thing to remember is the more prepared you are, the less of a burden your passing will be to your loved ones and in a time of sorrow, the less stress they will be afforded.
Estate Planning Overview
Latest posts by Scott Schomer, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- Why Would You Put Your House in a Trust? - March 20, 2019
- What is a Revocable Living Trust? - March 20, 2019
- Los Angeles Medi-Cal Planning for Future Hospice Care - March 19, 2019