The idea of estate planning can be depressing and daunting. It can be depressing because no one wants to think about their death, and it can be daunting because you may not know where to begin. Sometimes it helps to break down a topic like estate planning into two categories: financial documents and health care documents.
The financial aspects of estate planning
A well-rounded estate plan includes certain financial documents. One is a financial power of attorney. In this document you appoint a person to manage your financial matters should you become incapacitated and can no longer do so on your own. Wills and trusts are also financial documents that form the backbone of most estate plans. In a will, you can appoint who you want to inherit your assets. A trust is even more useful as assets placed in a trust go straight to your appointed beneficiaries, bypassing probate altogether. And, speaking of beneficiaries, some financial assets such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies also appoint beneficiaries who are to receive these assets upon your death.
The health care aspects of estate planning
A well-rounded estate plan also includes certain health care documents. On is an advanced health care directive. This document is essentially a written plan regarding what kind of life-saving care you wish to receive if you become incapacitated. For example, do you want CPR performed if you stop breathing or do you want to be placed on life support if necessary? These issues can be addressed in an advanced health care directive. Another document you will want to execute is a health care power of attorney. This document appoints the person you want to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated and can no longer do so on your own.
Those in San Jose who want to start estate planning have a lot of decisions to make. It is important to take your time and not rush into anything so you can ensure that your final wishes are met in a way you deem appropriate.