Many people associate having an estate plan with excessively wealthy individuals or family assets, but the truth is that everyone needs an estate plan of some type in the event of a calamity. There are many people in California who are unmarried with no children who still need an advanced directive for family members and the courts to follow in the event of incapacity.
One of the first legal matters for an incapacitated individual is a health care power of attorney. Those who are over 18 often think their parents will automatically have this power, but that legality only applies to minors. Any estate planning process should also include a living will.
Custody of children
Single individuals with children have a serious concern regarding what would happen to them in the event of their death or incapacity. A comprehensive estate plan will also include information regarding assignment of guardianship to avoid implementation of California law and potential intervention by child protection services.
Potential inheritance and trusts
Wealthy singles also have a concern with who will inherit their personal property and financial assets when they pass, and a will is the most effective method of ensuring this occurs per their wishes. An effective will can even be structured with other financial tools such as trusts to potentially avoid probate completely, which can limit the amount of claims filed against the estate.
The truth about a last will and testament is that everyone in California could need one for any number of legal reasons. California state law does not always allow for an acceptable outcome for the surviving family when someone dies, and those who are incapacitated could become a ward of the state as well. A valid will can stop much of this confusion and loss of ultimate control.