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What can you do NOW to prepare your estate plan!

Most people think that only wealthy or older people need an estate plan. However, every single person over 18 years old needs some level of planning.

Young adults with no children and very few assets need a "baby estate plan.*”

This includes the following:

1. An Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) states who will legally be able to make health care decisions for you and exactly what are your wishes that you want honored.

All AHCDs should include a HIPAA and CMIA waivers. These are the federal and CA state privacy acts that allow the medical community to talk to your Healthcare Agent.

2. A Durable Power of Attorney for Finance (DPOA) authorizes someone to make financial and legal decisions for you if you become mentally incapacitated. This includes paying your bills, filing taxes, dealing with Social Security or your insurance, etc.

If you become mentally incapacitated without these documents, no one can make medical or financial decisions for you. Parents cannot make decisions for kids over 18 and spouses cannot make them for each other.

3. Logins, Passwords, Bills oh my. Most people have this information scattered about and it is not organized for the DPOA Agent to step in and handle finances. We tell all of our clients to organize this into one very safe place. Tell your estate attorney where it is located so your DPOA agent can utilize it ONLY when something has gone wrong and you need the help.

Due to the coronavirus, we have posted free statutory documents for you to print and fill in. Click here.

*Disclaimer: This "baby estate plan” assumes that you do not have assets or children. If you do, you likely need a Trust and a Will and you should contact our office to learn more.

But remember, adults with assets or children need a comprehensive estate plan.

1. This includes the baby estate plan above, a Trust and Pour Over Will.

2. A Will states who receives your assets when you die but, contrary to popular understanding, almost all Wills go through probate. Probate is very expensive and assets are frozen for months. You can avoid this with a Trust. The Will also names a guardian to raise your minor children and a caretaker for your pets. With a Will alone, your children inherit everything when they turn 18 (and that can be its own kind of disaster).

3. A Trust also states who receives your assets when you die but, if done correctly, it avoids probate. It also allows you sprinkle assets over time for your kids or grandkids and impose conditions on when they inherit larger sums of money.

And older adults who are closer to the end of life need one more document.

1. Depending upon the assets and family structure, either a baby or comprehensive plan is needed.

2. The California POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) replaced the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). It is a very important document so that your wishes will be honored. It should be printed on hot pink paper and signed by your doctor.

Contact Goldfarb & Luu to discuss your situation during a case evaluation.

Devoted to Making Clients for Life

At Goldfarb & Luu, we recognize the importance of treating our clients with the utmost respect and compassion. We do whatever we can to make sure our clients have peace of mind. Everything we do – from our actions to our processes – is focused on making sure you know we care. Whether you have a crisis that requires our immediate attention or simply have questions that demand answers, we find solutions and take care of your best interests. The result: a life-long relationship of mutual trust.

Why Hire Us?
  • Hundreds of clients helped throughout California
  • Years of experience handling estate and elder law matters
  • Selected as Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ for 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Compassionate, thoughtful, and comprehensive legal solutions based on your needs