The Bare Necessities of Estate Planning in California

The unexpected – a subtle reminder

Some of us made New Year’s resolutions this year to take our ‘dream’ vacation’ or become more fit – and one couple visiting the Pasadena area from Scotland may be able to check both those items off their list. As recently reported by the Redlands Daily Facts, a stealth black bear encountered the Scottish couple as they exited the Southern California home they were visiting on holiday. To say the least, the bear encounter scared the couple. Luckily, the pair was able to return – albeit at an Olympic speed skating pace – to the home with no serious injuries. The animal ultimately retreated to the forest.

Often, the unexpected makes us think about the inevitable. There is a Scottish saying that directly translates to, “long may your chimney smoke” – meaning “may you live long and keep well.” And while we all want to live long, the teeth of time have their bite. It follows: an estate plan is a necessity everyone should have.

What is an estate plan?

Estate planning is a legal process that allows individuals to make arrangements for the disposal of assets upon death, and can also let those you love know what your health care wishes are in the event of incapacity. An estate plan can involve different mechanisms – some of which are briefly described below.

·      Will – a will includes the persons or organizations that attain your assets upon your death. An executor may also be named in the will as well as guardians for children.

·      Living trust – a living trust designates a trustee that holds legal title to a beneficiary’s inheritance. You may appoint yourself the trustee in a living trust, thereby retaining control of all assets held in the trust until your death.

·      Health care directive – a health care directive outlines your health care preferences in the event of an illness or accident that prevents you from conveying your desires.

·      Financial directives – financial directives authorize a designated individual to manage finances in the event you become incapacitated.

These are just some of the tools available when one establishes a basic estate plan. Depending on your personal situation and needs, there are several other devices that may be available and included in your estate plan.

California Estate Planning

To ensure your final health care and financial wishes are carried out as you want – it is essential to draft and frequently update your estate plan with an experienced California estate planning attorney.

The Law Office of Mark Abell is located in Redlands, California and we are skilled in all estate planning aspects. We can help you determine what to include in your estate plan and answer any questions you have pertaining to the legal ramifications involved in the process. Our knowledgeable legal team will tailor your estate plan to suit your needs. We can also work with you to update your existing estate plan. Contact our office today at 310-489-0707 or mark@trustabell.com.