When you die in California before creating an estate plan, you relinquish a good deal of control over what happens to your legacy and personal affairs. Despite this, many people in California and across the nation fail to create estate plans, and they sometimes do so because they fear how much time and energy they have to spend on its creation.
However, Bankrate notes that your estate plan does not have to be lengthy or complex to help you make plans for your future and leave a legacy behind for your loved ones. On the contrary, many people take care of their most important estate planning objectives by creating simple estate plans that include the following three elements.
Arguably the most fundamental part of an estate plan, a will lets you dictate who you want to get your assets after your death. Unless you create a will, the responsibility of determining where your assets end up falls on the California courts.
An advance health care directive
A California advance health care directive lets you dictate who makes medical decisions on your behalf. It also lets you outline your own preferences when it comes to your medical care with regard to resuscitation, the use of breathing machines and similar matters.
A power of attorney
A power of attorney gives someone you appoint the power to make certain personal or financial decisions for you. You typically have some power when creating your POA with regard to how long it remains in effect.
Having an estate plan that includes a will, an advance directive and a power of attorney goes a long way in terms of helping you maintain control over your personal, medical and financial affairs.