Chances are you hold most of your assets in your own name, and without a joint account owner. This means that without creating your own estate plan, you’ll be leaving it to the courts to sort out everything from where your assets should go, who should make your medical decisions, and who should raise your children if they are under eighteen.
Make sure your estate plan includes these 5 key components:
- A Revocable Living Trust. The Revocable Living Trust allows you to direct where you want your assets to go upon your death. Unlike a Will that would be subject to a long, expensive and public court process known as probate, a Revocable Living Trust is a private document that is administered by your attorney upon your passing. It allows you to also place controls on the money you leave behind, such as not allowing your children to control the money until they attain a certain age.
- Financial Durable Power of Attorney. The Financial Durable Power of Attorney allows another adult you trust to make all financial decisions on your behalf if you were incapacitated. Without this document, your loved ones who would have to go through a burdensome court process to get the authority to act on your behalf.
- Medical Directives. Your Medical Directives will allow your loved ones to talk to your doctors if you were seriously injured. They also address your end of life wishes, and designate someone you trust to make all medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself.
- Guardianship. If your child’s other parent is able to continue to raise your child, guardianship is not necessary. However, it’s imperative that all parents name guardians for their children in case the other parent is not available. Without this key document, a judge would have to decide who should raise your child.
- A Trusted Family Attorney. It’s one thing to have a set of legal documents that direct where assets should go and how decision will be made, but it’s another for your loved ones to have someone to turn to in a time of crises, who knows you and your wishes, and can can guide your loved ones during that difficult time. Make sure you only work with an estate planning attorney who can offer you a lifelong relationship.
Talk with your Newport Beach Estate Planning Law Firm attorney today to learn what you need to protect yourself and to ensure your loved ones would be completely taken care of if anything should happen to you! Call our Client Services Director, Bonnie Johnson at 949.718.0420 Monday through Friday between 9am and 4pm to schedule a planning session to get started.