It is not uncommon for people to assume that their estate plan consists simply of a list of who they want to leave their financial assets to upon their death. While a last will and testament is certainly a part of an estate plan, a complete estate plan goes much deeper than leaving people money. Residents of San Diego, California, should educate themselves on the other important documents that are included in estate plans, so they can know that their estate plan is complete.
Medical power of attorney
As difficult as it is to think about, you should name someone to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. The person that you choose should be very clear about your wishes concerning life support and other end-of-life care options. You should also choose someone who will not enforce his or her wishes on your care if you cannot make your own decisions.
Guardianship for minor children
If you have any minor children, you and the other parent should have a plan in place that provides for their care in the event that you both pass away or become incapacitated. While you will have financial provisions in place for your children, you should still choose someone who can provide them with the proper care they will require and who will be a responsible, positive influence on them. Talk to prospective guardians to make an informed decision.
Financial power of attorney
As important as it is to have someone available to make decisions regarding your medical care if you cannot, you should also name an individual to handle your financial affairs if you are incapacitated. You have the option of making your financial power of attorney all-encompassing or only having the position apply to certain financial matters.
Working with an estate planning lawyer can help ensure that every possible issue, including wills, trusts, POAs and health care directives, is covered in your estate plan. An attorney can gather the forms you need and walk you through the process of correctly filing all your estate planning forms.√