Estate planning is very important not only in terms of money matters but more specifically in terms of protecting your family. Everybody doesn’t want to face his mortality but sooner or later everybody passes away. Aside from the foregoing, you won’t know when you’ll become incapacitated or disabled and if you are the main bread winner of the family, planning for your estate transfer is among the most important steps you can do to protect you family and your loved ones. There are a lot of problems posed on the family as a result of failure to establish an estate plan, which generally includes misunderstandings in managing your affairs in terms of financial and other property relations.
Managing your financial affairs should not only concern your family when you pass away. Even when you become incapacitated, you should make sure that you plan your estate in such a way that your financial concerns are properly managed in case you become incapacitated to take care of your family’s daily concerns. There is a general misconception that your wife or children automatically steps in to manage your affairs in case you become incapacitated. This, however, is not the case especially in California. If you become incapacitated, your family member can only step in to manage your financial affairs if they petition the court to declare you legally incompetent, otherwise, they cannot legally manage your affairs and bind you to their actions. As you all know, going through court to have something declared in your favor could take a lot of time and effort. Even if the court appoints a person to manage your affairs, your court appointed person may need to report to court every year to show how your affairs are being taken cared for. This is why, if you need to make sure that your affairs are properly taken cared for in case you get incapacitated, estate planning is the best way to go about it.
Although there are other documents that may help you manage your affairs during your incapacity, the best document to execute would be estate planning specifically when you are incapacitated or rendered disabled. It is true that executing a will can help manage your affairs but this only takes effect when you pass away. Hence, if you get incapacitated, your family needs to go to court to manage your affairs. Even special power of attorney may not suffice and may not encompass everything you need to be done in your behalf in times when you get incapacitated. This being the case, it is always to your advantage to execute a specific estate plan for all eventualities to include estate planning for your incapacity.
Estate planning does not only provide for management of your general financial affairs. In case you figure in an accident or you contract a disease or become sick so much so that you become incapacitated to take care of yourself or decide for your treatment options, you can appoint a trusted person or family member to act for you though estate planning. For this case, a special power of attorney for health care coupled with a living will to specifically address your medical treatments and other health matters is your best chance in providing for your own care and your family’s well-being as well.
In case you pass away, it will be to your family’s advantage if you have an estate planned already for the eventuality. As you know, when you die, everything passes to your family. However, the amount and manner of transfer can only be decided through probate or court proceedings. Aside from being time consuming and costly, your family members could be in emotional disarray due to the court proceedings and the fact that your family may even need to petition the court for financial aid while the probate proceedings are still ongoing. Hence, to avoid putting your family in turmoil when you pass away, you should execute and create your estate plan as soon as you can with the aid of expert estate planning lawyers who can advise you in strict confidence on what you should be planning for to make sure that your family will be left with all your resources without the hassles of going through court to probate your estate.
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