Some families think that because they do not have much money, they do not need to do any estate planning. In fact, it does not matter how much you own. You should still make an estate plan to make sure your wishes get carried out and save your relatives hassle and expense.
Anyone Can Make an Estate Plan
Many people want to leave treasured items—even those of little monetary value—to relatives. In California, anyone can make a will explaining what to do with their property after their death. The will can list specific items you own and list who should receive them. You do not need millions of dollars in the bank to sign a will, nor do you need real estate or valuable property.
Without a will, the court will assign a representative to gather your personal belongings and distribute them to close relatives. Even if you told family members that you did not want a particular relative to inherit, the court will have to give property to that person if required by law. Signing a will that excludes the relative prevents this from happening.
In addition, any Californian can sign an advance health care directive. A directive allows someone else to make medical decisions when you cannot, and it explains your end-of-life wishes. Without a directive or other power of attorney, a judge may have to appoint a conservator for you. Also, the health care-related wishes that you have told family members for years may not be followed. Avoid these issues by making an estate plan.
Estate Plans Include Life Planning
Estate plans do more than dispose of your property after your death. They usually involve some life planning and future planning too. An estate planning lawyer can talk to you about options such as retirement accounts and trusts that will help you in the future. You may need assistance in planning to provide for a child with special needs or an ailing relative. Or you may have questions about donating money to charity.
All of these issues involve both estate planning and life planning. You want to benefit from your money and property during your lifetime, or help others with it. An estate plan can help you best accomplish this goal. After you pass away, you want specific people to benefit from your money and property and want your last wishes carried out. An estate plan can help you with this goal too.
Estate plans do not have to be extensive and expensive. Your estate plan could include only a simple will and a health care directive. Talk to a lawyer about the estate plan that best suits what you own and what you want for the future.
Planning your estate? Angela Klenk, Esq. and the team at Beach Cities Estate Law couple personalized attention to your estate plan with big law firm experience for a winning combination to give you peace of mind. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Beach Cities Estate Law online or call Angela’s office at (424) 400-2125.