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
This includes the following:
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.
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.
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.
*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.
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).
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
Contact Goldfarb & Luu
to discuss your situation during a