Elements of a Plan
Revocable Living Trust
The centerpiece to most estate plans we create. An estate planning document that is best for most California homeowners and parents. You put your property into it while you are alive, and retain complete control over it. It then lives on after you pass away and the property in your estate is distributed the way you want it to. It is superior to a Will for four reasons. 1. Cost. 2. Control. 3. Privacy. 4. Time and hassle.
Pour Over Will
Since your main estate planning document will likely be a trust, this simple will is a “safety net” to make sure that all of your property after you pass away will flow through your trust.
Durable Financial Power of Attorney
This document appoints somebody to make financial decisions for you when you are not able to. Often times, this is because you are incapacitated or in the hospital. This power of attorney brings with it a lot of power, so choose someone that you trust, and choose wisely.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
You appoint somebody to make healthcare decisions for you when you are unable to. Usually because you are incapacitated due to illness or other health condition.
Advance Healthcare Directive
You choose ahead of time what your end-of-life decisions are: to prolong life, or not to prolong life; to donate organs, or not to donate organs. It makes things much easier for your loved ones when there is no confusion about what your wishes are.
You get to choose who gets your health information. This may include other persons than those you’ve chosen to make healthcare decisions for you. This is essential if you want more people than immediate family to be able to know your health condition if you are incapacitated and cannot make decisions or yourself.
Certification of Trust
When you want to buy or sell a home, or open a bank account, and still maintain the privacy of your trust document, a certification of trust will let financial professionals know that your trust exists and let you conduct business without having to show them the entire trust. It maintains privacy.
Final Wishes and Burial Instructions
You choose what happens to your body and remains after you have passed on. Do you want to be cremated or buried? What kind of service or memorial do you want to have? Who do you want to nominate to make choices on your behalf? This document makes sure your wishes are in writing.
Nomination of Guardian
If you pass away with children under 18, a judge will have to nominate a guardian to care for them. This document gives you input on who you want to care for those kids. It's always best to nominate someone who shares your values and loves your children. Also, don’t forget to have alternates.