People often overlook how important estate planning is, but having a thorough estate plan is essential for protecting your family. There are a number of legal steps Californians can take to better plan for the future. Experienced California estate planning attorney Robert S. Miles can assess your needs and ensure that your interests are protected with the proper legal preparations. These can include:
- Wills. A Will is the most basic estate planning document, and something that every person should have. Through a will, a person can state their final wishes. In most cases, the primary function of a will is to direct where a person’s property goes when they die; however, wills do not avoid probate.
- Revocable Living Trust. A Revocable Living Trust places property under the control of a chosen trustee (s). This trustee is ultimately in charge of distributing the trust’s assets to beneficiaries – usually children and other family members – according to the terms of the trust. They are referred to as “revocable living” trusts because they can be revoked or amended by the trust-maker at any time before they die. These are often preferable to simple wills because probate is avoided. They are also particularly useful when a person wants to attach more elaborate conditions on inheritance.
- Advance Health Care Directive. An Advance Health Care Directive is a legally binding document that specifies what should happen if a person lacks legal capacity to make decisions for themselves because of illness or injury. These can direct healthcare providers on how a person should be taken care of in the event that they are incapacitated, or designate someone to make medical decisions on a person’s behalf by naming them as an agent.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Finance. A Durable Power of Attorney for Finance gives a designated agent the legal authority to make financial decisions for someone in the event that person ever lacks the mental capacity to make decisions on their own.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert S. Miles, APC to Discuss Your Plan Today
It is important for estate planning needs to be met thoroughly and comprehensively. If there are holes in your estate plan now, it can cause burden and stress on family members down the road. Moreover, each of the above types of documents must adhere to certain formal rules in order to be enforceable. An estate planning attorney can ensure that you have covered your bases and that your documents are legally enforceable. To discuss your estate planning needs, please feel free to call the Law Offices of Robert S. Miles, APC at (818) 737-1080 anytime.