Estate planning is something all California residents should do before their death to protect their assets and families. As part of the efforts, end-of-life planning should include securing your beneficiary’s assets and distribution. While this is never a pleasant topic, it can ease the burdens of family members.
Understanding the importance of end-of-life planning
End-of-life planning can help you secure the way you want your final days to be handled. It also allows you to prepare for how your finances and property are taken care of and gives you and your family a sense of security. Including end-of-life documents in your estate plan eliminates any burden your family might have otherwise suffered when it comes time to make difficult, painful decisions.
End-of-life documents to include in your estate plan
Your will lets you name beneficiaries and guardians for your minor children if you die while they’re still young. You can express your final wishes and whether you want to be buried or cremated, and even make decisions on the care of your pets.
A revocable living trust allows you to hold assets for your heirs while bypassing probate. You can manage it until you’re incapacitated or pass away, and then, a successor trustee takes over. Your heirs can receive their inheritances sooner with a trust.
Powers of attorney let you name trusted agents to handle your financial and health care matters if you’re unable to do so yourself. It would help if you also had a health care proxy, which entrusts an agent to make decisions about your care when you cannot.
An advanced health care directive outlines the types of medical treatments you want or don’t want in certain situations. You can also have a do not resuscitate (DNR) order if you prefer not to have life-saving measures if you’re in a permanent vegetative state or terminally ill.
Including these documents in your estate plan can comfort you and your loved ones.