ESTATE PLANNING CAN HELP PEOPLE IN VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES
When people in California think about the future, some people think that an estate plan is not necessary. They may think that only extremely wealthy people need to plan to distribute their assets or plan to put it off until an older age. However, people in general can benefit from laying out an estate plan, including young, single and healthy people with relatively small assets. Even though there can be substantial benefits for loved ones and people's own peace of mind, surveys indicate that over 50 percent of adult Americans and 78 percent of millennials do not have basic estate documents like wills or trusts.
While children and marriage inspire many people to create an estate plan, there are certain types of documents that every adult should have. One critical part of making an estate plan is deciding who should make decisions when the person planning is unable to, whether due to death or incapacity. This can include selecting an executor for a will or a trustee for a trust. It can also mean creating powers of attorney for financial and legal matters or an advance directive for healthcare purposes. This means that a person can designate who makes important decisions in case of a serious disability or injury.
In addition, estate planning can help people decide how to distribute their belongings. While the state has intestacy laws to govern the passing of belongings on the basis of family relationships, people may want their assets to be transferred to those closest to them. In addition, making a will can help to reduce family friction after a death.
When considering these concerns, a lawyer with experience in trusts & trust administration might help clients make key decisions. An attorney may be able to draft important documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney that reflect a client's plans for the future.