When a Californian makes the effort to plan for the future, he or she may think that once it's all drafted, that's all someone needs to do. It can be tempting to forget about estate planning documents until they're needed, but that's not always wise. In reality, these documents and important paperwork should be carefully reviewed occasionally, especially after a major life change.
When a California couple has kids, they may start making financial adjustments for the future needs of their children. For example, they may start a college savings fund or buy life insurance. Most parents understand the importance of thinking ahead, but many of them overlook the importance of estate planning for the benefit of their family. This includes deciding what to do with assets and preparing for medical emergencies that may arise in the future.
It is not easy to think about the future and make plans that could determine what will happen to a person's belongings after his or her passing. These are not simple decisions to make, and for many in California, they believe that estate planning is not necessary. They assume that because they are not famous, wealthy or elderly that they do not this type of legal protection. These and other misconceptions can be quite damaging.
It is important to begin the estate planning process early on in your adult life (as you cannot anticipate if an accident or sudden illness cuts your life short). Yet one of the drawbacks of creating a will so early is that you are almost certain to go through life-changing events that may impact how you want your estate to be dispersed. For example, many come to us here at The Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen & Associates in a panic due to loved ones having died without updating their wills following their divorces.
Caring for elderly parents in California is challenging in the best circumstances. If they need help with their finances, you may have concerns about whether they spend money wisely, or if they succumb to undue influence by caregivers. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen & Associates often assist clients with estate planning for their aging parents.
Things like life insurance policies, retirement funds, and savings accounts are all included in the assets you have in your name. Accordingly, you must make decisions on how the proceeds of these accounts are to be distributed among your heirs upon your death. Beneficiary designations are key in this regard, as explained by The Balance.
There certainly is a strong finality that comes with death. Yet what many in Westminster may fail to appreciate is that such a finality does apply to any debts that may owe. Indeed, when one dies in debt, the responsibility to settle those liabilities falls to their estate. Given that CBS News reports that Americans are dying with an average of $62,000 in debt, the likelihood that one's heirs will be left to deal their debts is relatively high.
Most view estate planning as being limited to you stipulating how you want your assets dispersed to your designated beneficiaries in Westminster once you pass on. Yet another important element to the process is planning out how you wished to be cared for before you die. Many that we here at The Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen $ Associates work with may wish to avoid the pain and suffering that can accompany an extended illness, preferring to instead instruct caretakers to not take extraordinary measures in order to extend their lives. If you share the same desire, then you will want to state that in the form of an advance directive.
Like most in Westminster, you no doubt value your independence. Yet an important component of planning for the future is anticipating a time when you may not be in the best position to make decisions for yourself. Whether that be due to your being incapacitated to simply not having sufficient comprehension or understanding, having another in place to assist you can be a real benefit. Many of those who have also come to this realization often ask us here at The Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen & Associates wondering how they can take the first steps towards establishing power of attorney. You will be happy to know that it is a fairly simple process.
If your family has significant assets to protect (such as ownership of a family business), then it may be wise to consider placing those assets in a trust to be managed for the benefit of you and all of the other family heirs. Yet what is to say that whomever is chosen as trustee will be up to the task? Many who have bee parties to trusts in Westminster have come to us here at The Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen & Associates concerned over the actions of the trustees in their cases, and questioning whether or not there is a way to remove someone from such a role. You may be happy to hear that there is.