Estate Planning in California: Most Common Documents Used in a Simple Estate

Estate planning in California can involve several steps since the purpose is to provide for your heirs or otherwise ensure that your assets are used in the way that you want after you die. A well planned estate also minimizes estate taxes and helps reduce problems between the survivors. In this post, we’re going to look at the most common documents used when you’re involved in simple estate planning in California.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a document that allows someone, referred to as the attorney-in-fact, to handle your assets in specific ways mentioned in the document. There are different types of power of attorneys. A durable power of attorney is used in estate planning in California because it remains in effect if you become unable to make your own decisions because of a mental of physical incapacity.

Last Will and Testament

A Last Will and Testament, commonly referred to simply as a will, is used to explain how you want your property distributed after you die. You can use it to list beneficiaries as well as what they should receive from your estate. A will is also used to name an executor or administrator. This is the person who will be responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out. They also have other important tasks that they must fulfil. We discussed some of those responsibilities in this post.

Many people skip creating a will because they don’t think that they have enough assets. That’s a common misconception. If you die without a will, there are laws that will determine how your assets will be distributed. Additionally, if you have a minor child, you need a will. A will can name a guardian who should take care of your children if you die.

Review Your Documents Often and Update as Necessary

Estate planning in California is not a “one and done” experience. As life goes on, your needs will change. There’s a good chance that your estate plan will need to change to reflect that. Make sure that you review your documents on a regular basis and update them as necessary.

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