It’s very common for people in California to delay their estate planning. In fact, if you have a will, you’re already ahead of the game compared to most people. Some people only need a simple will while others require more complex estate plans.
Does everyone need to create an estate plan?
Anyone that has some assets and some person or people they care about should create an estate plan. Your estate planning needs will depend on how many assets you own, the size of your wealth, the size of your family, and your family’s unique circumstances. These are some of the most basic estate planning documents that most people need:
• A will
• Beneficiary designations
• Powers of attorney
What’s in your will?
Your will is the foundation of your estate plan as it will appoint an executor and leave instructions for the distribution of your most valuable assets. If you have children under the age of 18, you can also use your will to name a guardian for them.
What are beneficiary designations?
Setting up beneficiary designations may allow some of your financial assets to pass directly to recipients without having to go through probate. Your bank, investment, and retirement accounts should all give you the option of naming a beneficiary. Your beneficiaries are the people you wish to inherit the contents of your financial accounts after your death.
What are powers of attorney?
Setting up powers of attorney is the part of your estate plan that allows you to take care of your future potential needs. If you ever become incapacitated and you are unable to make decisions for yourself, your financial and health care agents can step in. They should be people that you trust to understand your wishes and make sure that they are respected.