Estate planning can protect your interests during your lifetime

No one knows when they will pass on from this life. A California resident may experience health and wellness for years before suffering life-ending injuries in an unexpected accident. Another person may languish in life with serious illnesses and ailments, overcoming death at various points throughout their treatment and living longer than any medical professional might expect.

Regardless of how a person meets their end, they should take steps to not only prepare for their deaths but also the end of their life with estate planning tools. While wills and certain forms of trusts are important for ensuring that a decedent's property is properly distributed upon their passing, other estate planning tools are available that can help a person live out the end of their days knowing that their wishes will be respected and accommodated.

For example, a person may want to consider creating an advanced health care directive, also sometimes known as a medical power of attorney. Through this tool, a person decides who will be responsible for making health care decisions for them in the event they are not able to do so for themselves.

Also, a person may wish to create durable powers of attorney. This allows a person to appoint individuals who will manage their financial interests in the event they are unable to take care of their own affairs.

There are a myriad of other estate planning tools that individuals should consider when establishing their end of life plans. To better understand their options and to discuss questions about the estate planning process, readers are encouraged to contact their estate planning attorneys.

Source: Forbes, "The Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes People Make," Brad Wiewel, Aug. 16, 2017

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