Last year’s uncertainty about the future of the estate and gift tax caused many people to put their estate planning on hold. As a Newport Beach estate planning attorney I can tell you that now that the clouds have lifted and Congress has given us clarity, there is simply no reason for anyone to delay in implementing these five estate planning essentials:
Will. How would you feel if a stranger came to your house and just started giving all your stuff away? Without a will, that is basically what will happen. Without a will, it will be a judge instead of you deciding on the people who will benefit from your estate. A will is also the only legal instrument you can use to name a legal guardian for your minor children.
Advance Medical Directive. Also known as a health care proxy or durable power of attorney for healthcare, this document provides the legal right for the person of your choice (your representative) to make healthcare decisions for you in case you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself.
Living Will. This goes hand-in-hand with an advance medical directive, and is a legal way for you to express which medical treatments you do or do not want.
Power of Attorney. This covers the financial management bases by giving a person you choose the legal power to handle your finances should you not be able to do so. Powers of attorney can become effective immediately or through a triggering event like a sudden illness or incapacity.
Trust. Trusts are used to transfer your assets without the need for an expensive, unnecessary and totally public Court process, and there are a wide variety of trust strategies that a Personal Family Lawyer® can tailor to meet the individual needs of you and your family.
If you’re ready to do the right thing for your family by creating an estate plan with Newport Beach estate planning attorney, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.