As you create your estate plan, it is important to have a good handle on all of your assets and liabilities as well as the personal goals you have surrounding the transfer of those assets to your loved ones in the future.
Defining your own goals and what’s most important to you over the course of your life and after you pass away as your legacy will help you to determine which components belong in your estate plan. A qualified estate planning lawyer is a vital component of helping you decide the right strategies, documents, and tools to accomplish those goals.
Each person’s estate plan may look different, but it is valuable to understand some of what the different tools can do. Your estate plan may include things, such as:
- Creating a trust.
- Purchasing long term care insurance or developing a Medicaid qualification plan.
- Naming a beneficiary and retirement account, annuity, pay-on-death bank account or life insurance policy.
- Purchasing jointly owned property or adding a joint owner to existing property.
- Creating a living will.
- Developing a transfer-on-death instrument to pass ownership of your property to a beneficiary after you pass away.
- Creating power of attorney documents to name financial and other agents who may step into make decisions and take actions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.
Your unique circumstances will determine which of these tools you need and what should be evaluated as part of your estate plan. You may incorporate or remove various aspects of these documents as you get older, but it is equally important to plan for your life using power of attorney documents and living wills as it is to determine what happens to your assets after you pass away. Meet with our California estate planning lawyers to discuss the specifics of your plan.