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5 Key Elements of an Estate Plan in California

Estate planning is important, not only to you but to your loved ones. Proper planning can protect you should you become incapacitated at some point, and it can be beneficial for your family should something happen to you suddenly. Here are the five key elements of an effective estate plan.

  1. Trusts – The advantage of a trust is that it avoids probate, so your beneficiaries get their inheritance faster and without the court fees. Plus, you have the option to manage the trust yourself while you are alive and to appoint a successor trustee to care for the assets after you pass and before your beneficiaries take over.
  2. Wills – A will ensures that any assets you haven’t added to a trust are properly disseminated by a designated executor. It also provides you with the opportunity to designate a guardian for any minor children you may have.
  3. Advance Health Care Directive – An advance health care directive (AHCD) allows you to appoint a person to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated. It also allows you to leave specific instructions regarding procedures you will and will not allow as well as instructions regarding resuscitation, organ donation, and other end of life decisions.
  4. Power of Attorney – This allows you to grant someone POA (power of attorney) to care for any assets that are not part of a trust should you become unable to care for these financial matters yourself. This allows you to designate the agent rather than having someone selected by the probate court after you become incapacitated.
  5. Final Disposition – This allows you to make end of life decisions regarding your funeral, whether you prefer cremation, and other similar decisions. While it may not be fun to think about, this will save your family from some tough decisions by outlining your wishes clearly.

Help in Creating a Comprehensive Estate Plan in California

If you are looking to update your present estate plan or if you are new to estate planning, the talented and experienced lawyers at T. Burd Law Group can help. Contact us today at 858-215-2873 to get started. 

501 West Broadway, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92101