Many people in California postpone estate planning for the simple reason that they don't like to think about their own mortality. That is very human and totally understandable. Yet it is important to keep in mind that a solid estate plan is about much more than giving instructions for the distribution of property after death. A good estate plan will also includes important planning for one's own lifetime.
Many people choose a living trust as their primary estate planning tool because it allows for lifetime planning and asset protection. With a living trust, you can preserve and manage assets during your lifetime and also provide for the management and distribution of those assets for the benefit of your heirs.
In addition to a will or living trust, every estate plan should include a durable power of attorney and a living will. A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint a trusted person to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. A living will allows you to appoint a health care agent to make important treatment decisions on your behalf. It also allows you to set out your health care preferences in writing, including preferences about end-of-life care, life support and heroic measures.
In my law practice I am committed to helping clients not only with the disposition of assets after death, but with planning for lifetime asset management, incapacity and illness. I have over 25 years of experience in this area of law. You can learn more about my Sacramento estate planning practice on my “Estate Planning” web page.