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ESTATE PLANNING
 

Estate planning is the process by which we do the following:

  1. Get to know you personally;
  2. Evaluate what you own;
  3. Determine who you trust to manage your affairs in the event of your incapacity or death;
  4. Determine the people and/or organizations that you want to give your property after you die; and,
  5. Design the appropriate documents to accomplish the objectives of 3 and 4 without unnecessary cost and delays.
The most common estate planning documents are:

Last Will and Testament: Wills are used to name the people and/or organizations you want to give your property to (beneficiaries) and to name the person or persons to handle your affairs after you die (Executors/Personal Representatives).  In California, if the total value of all your personal property and real estate is more than $150,000.00, your family will have to go to court to get your property transferred to your beneficiaries whether you die with or without a Will.

Revocable Living Trust:  A legal entity that holds your property for your benefit while you are alive and then for those people and/or organizations you want to give your property to after you die.  While you are alive and not incapacitated you are the manager of your property (Trustee).  When you die or become incapacitated the trust names another Trustee to act on your behalf.

Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Management:  A document that gives another person (Agent) full or limited legal authority to act on your behalf while you are incapacitated. Your agent's authority ends at your death or when you revoke their authority.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care/Advance Health Care Directive: This document allows you give someone else the authority (Agent) to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them for yourself.

HIPAA Authorization and Release: This document allows your Trustees/Agents to obtain your protected health information in order to carry out their responsibilities on your behalf.