Whether one has some or none, it’s incumbent upon the individual to ask, what if?
If you do not own real property (real estate) and have minimal assets, then you may not need a Revocable Living Trust. However, people who assist you if incapacitated (physically or mentally) have to know your basic wishes. How should your finances be handled and by who? If you cannot communicate with your treating physician, then–knowing yourself–consider what you would communicate to her. After death, your loved ones should not be burdened with guessing as to handling of your assets (even if they’re minimal) and how to act in accordance with your convictions. Estate planning is not about… well, it’s not about you. It’s about the people who survive you. Our “Living Estate Package” serves to spare your heirs from uncertainty.
The Living Estate Package contains a comprehensive supplement to your Last Will and Testament; it includes the essential documents and directives for management of finances and health care, when you cannot manage them yourself. The package contains your Will, Durable General Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive (with HIPPA Disclosure form), which we succinctly sum up below:
Exemplified in this World-Wide-Web we live in, self-centeredness defines the zeitgeist of the new millennium (yes, “zeitgeist” is silly to say; yet it’s nonsense that invades the attorney lexicon ’cause he tunes to NPR during rock-station breaks). Not-so-long-ago, in an act of Supreme High-Concept and Cleverness, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year was “You” (they put a mirror-like reflective surface on the cover). Yet, estate planning is… NOT about you. It’s about saving your loved ones money and time and uncertainty….
Then again… it’s a little about you. It’s about honoring your unique wishes and protecting your legacy.
Let’s keep it simple: the will permits you to designate who will care for your minor children and who will inherit your property. Absent air-tight, unequivocal articulation (i.e. your wills and trusts attorney doing his job) of choices within a last will and testament, fundamental matters are left to chance (and “chance” means it’s left to the Superior Court of California and confused loved ones). The will preserves your freedom of choice after death.
A Durable General Power of Attorney grants authority to an Attorney-in-Fact to manage your business affairs if you become incompetent. In the event your attorney-in-fact cannot assume the job, you will have in place a successor to fill in. The Durable General Power of Attorney also nominates a conservator to be employed in the event of extended-periods of incapacitation.
Should extreme measures be taken to prolong life regardless of degree of pain or loss of consciousness? The Advance Health Care Directive satisfies this crucial question by appointing a Health Care Agent to carry out your wishes. It will further specify whether you wish to be a donor. In conjunction with the Advance Health Care Directive, your wills and trusts attorney will prepare a HIPPA disclosure form, which grants your Health Care Agent access to necessary records. A properly-executed Advance Health Care Directive relieves your loved ones form having to fight obstacles that would frustrate your instruction.