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How to create a stronger estate plan

Ideally, you will take time to create an estate plan that provides for your needs now and after you pass. If you fail to make a will or trust, California law may distribute assets to your spouse or child by default. In addition to a will or trust, it may be a good idea to create a living will and a power of attorney form.

Trusts may make it easier to manage your affairs

One of the key benefits of creating a trust is that you can name someone to manage your affairs during your lifetime. This person can pay bills or ensure that your medical needs are met if an illness or disability renders you unable to do so on your own.

Another potential benefit of a trust is the ability to bypass probate. Furthermore, the terms of the trust are not made a matter of public record, which means that creating such a document can be ideal for those who value their privacy. To avoid probate, assets must be titled in the name of the trust.

Be sure to regularly evaluate your estate plan

Life events such as going through a divorce, getting married again or moving to a new state should trigger a review of your estate plan. It is critical that you have named a guardian for your children as well as someone who can manage any assets that they inherit before they become legal adults.

If you have any questions about estate planning, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney. Legal counsel may explain the potential benefits of a will, trust or power of attorney document. An attorney may also help you review any plan documents that have already been created.

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