For the vast majority of people, estate planning does not need to be complex but the prospect of it makes it all too easy to put it off and avoid taking care of this important prospect altogether.
Remember that an estate plan is not a one and done activity. It’s a set of strategies and documents that need to be updated over time. There are five key aspects that should be part of most people’s estate plans. The first of these are advanced directives. These have to do with becoming incapacitated and being unable to consent to medical care.
You don’t want to put your loved ones in the difficult situation of having to go to court under dire circumstances. Create documents with the help of an estate planning lawyer to avoid this. The second aspect of your plan is a last will and testament. This specifies who can inherit your property after you pass away and you are also able to use it to name a guardian for minor children. The third aspect of a common estate plan is a long term care plan. Home care and nursing homes can be exceptionally expensive and could decimate your retirement savings or leave your spouse in dire straits.
Make sure that you have a plan to cover the costs and speak with an experienced lawyer about qualifying for Medicaid and myths and misconceptions around them. The fourth component of your estate plan is the consideration is life insurance. This can help to ensure that there is money available so that the quality of life of your loved ones does not decline dramatically because your income was lost. Finally, don’t forget to name beneficiaries.
Certain accounts, such your life insurance policy or a 401(k) will require you to name your beneficiary designations outside of your will. These also supersede whatever is listed in your will. Set up a phone call with our Pasadena estate planning law office today to learn more about how you can accomplish your estate planning goals.