Why is it important for everyone to have a will?
Estate planning is critically important for those in all financial situations. Estate plans range in complexity from simple wills to complex multi-generational trusts. Your estate plan accomplishes far more than just transferring your assets upon your death. With your estate plan, you will protect yourself, your family, and future generations. Our Orange County estate planning lawyers at OC Wills and Trusts explore why it is vital that people of all ages and income levels create an estate plan.
Conveying Your Final Wishes With a Will
At the most basic level, all estate plans should have a will. Your will is essential because it notifies the court and your loved ones of your last wishes. With your will, you can name whom you want to receive what assets. Even those without significant assets will want to have a say in who receives their hard earned possessions. You can also name a guardian for your minor child or a caregiver for your pet. A will is relatively simple to create, but must adhere to California law in order to be valid.
Protecting Yourself with Powers of Attorney
Your estate plan should protect not just your loved ones after your death, but you during your lifetime as well. All estate plans should include a medical and financial power of attorney. A medical power of attorney states your wishes for medical care should you become incapacitated. It further allows you to name an individual that you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf should the need arise. Similarly, a financial power of attorney allows you to name an individual to make financial decisions and care for your affairs if you are incapacitated.
Take Advantage of Tax Benefits with a Trust
Trusts do not have to be complex, and they come with many benefits. With a trust, you can transfer assets to the ownership of the trust, but continue to use them during your lifetime. Depending on the type of trust you select, you may be able to protect your assets from creditors and take advantage of tax savings. Assets within the trust have the additional benefit of not needing to go through probate in order to transfer to your named beneficiaries. Contact an estate planning attorney to get started planning for your future today.