Take care of basic estate planning needs and put your “house in order.”
A Will-based plan is a collection of the lawfully minimum documents necessary to ensure that you choose the person who manages your affairs and your intended beneficiaries receive your assets. We prepare:
- Last Will and Testament
- Durable Powers of Attorney for finances
- Advance Healthcare Directive
- California HIPAA Authorizations
- Nominations of Guardian
These documents are great when you are an individual or couple with a handful of accounts, no real property, no children (or adult children), no parents to take care of, and minimal legacy considerations. A Will-based plan becomes inefficient, which means more work for your fiduciaries and less privacy for you, if you have real property, minor children, and a more robust legacy plan (such as charities, minor children/grandchildren, lifetime care trusts for parents, pet trusts, etc.).
While these are the minimum documents required to ensure your estate plan is carried out, it is somewhat inefficient to manage your financial affairs and legacy considerations if you have children/grandchildren. While you’re incapacitated, if your fiduciary must use those Powers of Attorney, the fiduciary might be required to provide incapacity information to whomever is being asked to treat your fiduciary as if they are you. The institution might have internal policies around the ‘freshness’ of the document, meaning that it has been executed within the last 5 years. Lastly, an institution might request a court order for continued access or management of an account if you are incapacitated for a longer period of time.
Ultimately, simple plan documents are better than no plan documents. When we talk, budget considerations might require a Will-based plan when a Trust-based plan would serve you better. If that’s the case, we’ll plan accordingly to ensure as efficient a plan as we can figure.