California Estate Planning Documents: Living Trust, Will, Directive and Other Estate Planning Services

Planning for your estate with properly prepared estate planning documents is important for everyone, from the single mother with a young child, to the mature couple who have the opportunity to enjoy life a little more leisurely.

Did You Know??

Did you know you don’t need to hire an attorney to prepare your California estate planning documents? A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your estate planning documents instead of using an expensive attorney! We use the same estate planning software that many California attorneys use and provide a variety of estate planning services.

Estate Planning Options
estate planning

There are several essential California estate planning documents that can be used to protect your estate so it can be properly administered if something happens to you. Some of the more routine estate planning documents include a Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Property Management, Advance Health Care Directive, HIPPA Release, and if you have minor children, a Nomination of Guardian for Minor Children. If you have more than a modest estate, your estate plan may consist of a Revocable Living Trust, Pour-over Wills, Durable Power of Attorney for Property Management, Advance HealthCare Directive, HIPPA Release and, if you have minor children, a Nomination for Guardian of Minor Children.

Overview of Key Estate Planning Documents

Our estate planning services are tailored to each individual’s needs. The following information will enable you to have a better understanding of the various types of estate planning documents available and their purpose. You also may want to check out our list of common terms used in wills and trusts in preparation for planning your estate and Inestopedia’s 6 estate planning must-haves.

estate planning documentsWill: Document that describes how to distribute a person’s property after their death. This document will name an Executor, the person who will handle the decedent’s assets after their death. It also permits a person to name beneficiaries, set up support trusts for minor children or other dependents, and choose when and how gifts of their property will be given. If a person’s assets are in excess of $166,250, your estate may need a Probate proceeding. We have many other articles on our website covering the subject of Wills in California. A detailed list can be found here.

Living Revocable Trust: An estate planning document that enables a person’s estate to bypass probate (a court proceeding), thereby saving time and money in distributing their estate. This document will name another person as the trustee of their estate and will also appoint one or more successor trustees, guardians, and beneficiaries, and address all other concerns they may have about how their estate is handled. To access other articles on our website covering the subject of Revocable Living Trusts in California, click here.

Financial Power of Attorney: This estate planning document gives another person the power to handle a person’s finances, business, and personal affairs if they become incapacitated. This document will appoint an attorney-in-fact, or agent, who will be allowed to run a person’s business, and all of their financial affairs, including but not limited to money management and bill paying. If at some point a person becomes incapacitated and can no longer take care of themselves, the person designated as their financial power of attorney will have the power to make financial decisions on their behalf. The power of attorney takes the place of a costly, court-supervised conservatorship. The Durable Power of Attorney is good until the time of death. At the time of death, the Power of Attorney can no longer be used. To learn more about how to use a Durable Power of Attorney to plan your future, click here.

Advance Healthcare Directive: A document that gives another person the power to enforce a person’s medical wishes and desires should they become incapacitated and not be able to express their wishes themselves. This document designates an attorney-in-fact, or agent, who will be allowed to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated at some point. This document also directs for ongoing medical treatment in the event of terminal illness, and whether life support is desired when terminally ill. Access our other articles about creating a Healthcare Directive here.

HIPPA Release: A few years ago the federal government passed legislation that would protect a person’s healthcare information. This new law made it more difficult for family members to handle insurance matters for a person who is incapacitated. This new form allows a person to appoint specific people who are named in an Advanced Healthcare Directive to specifically have access to healthcare information so that they can handle insurance matters.

Alternative to Typical Estate Planning Documents

Transfer on Death Deed: Effective January 2016, California has implemented a new estate planning tool called a “Transfer on Death Deed.” This deed allows a homeowner to transfer their residence to named beneficiaries upon their death, without the property having to be placed in a trust or going through some type of probate proceeding. A Transfer on Death Deed is not an estate planning document we would recommend nor is it ideal for many people. First or foremost, it does not allow for contingencies if the named beneficiary dies before the property owner, nor can a minor be named on a Transfer on Death Deed. Secondly, there are many downsides to the Transfer on Death deed including title insurance issues. However, this option may be a quick fix for an elderly person who has no other assets and merely wants to make sure their home goes to their loved ones upon their death. More information about the new California Transfer on Death Deed can be found here.

Estate Planning Should Easy and Inexpensive

We understand people are busy. That is why we offer several convenient options for our clients’ California estate planning document preparation. When you use our services, you will see that creating your estate planning documents is not time-consuming, complicated or expensive! Although the one-on-one phone or personal interview with our client is the preferred method to gather the necessary information for your estate planning documents, we do offer several convenient choices for our customers.

  1. One-one-one personal interview and in-office appointment OR
  2. One-on-one telephone interview OR
  3. Easy to complete printable interview worksheet.

Emergency? We can prepare your estate planning documents in as little as an hour

Sometimes people find themselves having unexpected surgery or find themselves taking an unplanned trip and want to get their estate plans in order before the event happens. Don’t panic! A People’s Choice can prepare all of your estate planning in as little as 1 hour.

Need other estate planning services? Call us. We can prepare many routine estate planning documents. Start your estate planning today!

Our California Estate Planning Services include:

  • One-on-one estate planning interview
  • Preparation of preliminary draft of estate planning documents for review
  • Signing appointments and witnesses at our corporate office, if necessary (notary fees extra)
  • Estate or Probate folder. FREE legal manual about estate planning and/or probate
  • Emergency document preparation services are available for same-day signing

When using A People’s Choice, you will ALWAYS work with a live Registered Legal Document Assistant. Our services offer flexibility for our customers and will always be based on low-cost, flat fees. Call us today!

Get help with your California Estate Planning today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your estate planning documents instead of an expensive attorney!