An estate plan is an extremely powerful tool that allows you, not a probate court, to determine how your assets will pass or how your medical decisions are made. However, estate plans are not just for end of life issues because a well-designed plan directs other matters throughout your life.
It is imperative for you to have an established and comprehensive estate plan. There are many legal strategies available to develop your estate plan to manage issues with your taxes, assets, medical care, and much more. They legal documents created to accomplish this goal include last will and testaments, pour over wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, testamentary trusts, special needs trusts, durable power of attorney, and a range of healthcare documents such as advanced healthcare directives and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) authorizations.
If you haven't put together an estate plan yet, the State of California, under the laws of intestacy, has legislated one for you and your assets. Unfortunately, it likely isn't one you will like and will more than likely cost your family a lot of time and money they wouldn't otherwise have had to spend. A properly designed estate plan will replace the State's plan for your own, leaving your estate to be handled the way you would prefer.
We all hope that we will never become incapacitated and will always be in a position to make our own medical decisions. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case and having a comprehensive estate plan in place will ensure that even if you are incapacitated, your wishes for your medial care are still followed. The advanced healthcare directive and the HIPAA authorization are two key documents that make it so you can make those decisions long before anything happens to you.
Below is an overview of these estate planning documents that are included in a comprehensive plan:
- Last Will and Testament
- Pour Over Will
- Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Testamentary Trusts, Special Needs Trust
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Documents
A proper estate plan cannot be done alone. Contact the Filippi Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.