Estate planning is an important step to take to ensure that your health care and final property wishes are met. Creating an estate plan in California is also helpful for making sure that surviving family members receive the provisions they need when you are gone. Unfortunately, it is often put off to focus on seemingly more pressing needs, although this can be risky since disability or death can strike at any time.

What exactly is my estate?

Your estate includes all of the property you own when you pass away. This property includes bank accounts, real estate, and life insurance policies. Your estate also includes securities, such as stocks, as well as personal property, including automobiles, artwork and even jewelry.

What are the benefits of an estate plan?

One of the main reasons for creating an estate plan is to pinpoint those loved ones who you want to receive certain property following your death. This type of plan will make sure that the property intended for particular family members will go to them as rapidly as possible and with the least amount of legal difficulty as possible.

Another benefit of estate planning is that it can help with minimizing how much tax will have to be paid before your property is transferred to your loved ones. Yet another advantage of this process is that you can avoid the costs and time associated with going through probate if you use a device such as a payable-on-death bank account or a living trust.

What are other reasons to create an estate plan?

Such a plan is also helpful in allowing you to determine in advance what type of medical care you want to receive to prolong your life in the event you cannot make such a decision on your own. In addition, a commonly overlooked advantage of estate planning is that it enables you to outline your desired funeral arrangements and how expenses related to these arrangements should be covered.

For parents with minor children in California, estate plans are also critical for identifying the guardians they wish to appoint to care for their children in case they themselves die. A knowledgeable attorney can go over all of your estate planning options and help you choose the solutions that are right for you and your family’s situations.