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Understanding proper estate planning in California

Creating an estate plan that meets in individual's needs means understanding where he or she is in life. For instance, a child under age 18 does not need an estate plan because his or her parents will take care of any needs that may arise. Single adults may want to create a durable power of attorney and a living will to ensure that family members can make medical decisions based on that person's wishes.

Couples who are in committed relationships but are not married are encouraged to create a will or trust. This increases the odds that the deceased's partner will get any assets that he or she is intended to receive. Otherwise, assets could be distributed based on state law and go to family members by default.

When a couple gets married, it may be worthwhile to revise durable powers of attorney and other medical directives. Doing so ensures that a spouse is the one making decisions for someone who may be mentally incapacitated. As a person gets older, it is often a good idea to purchase long-term insurance policies that will cover an individual as well as their family if necessary. These policies may be adjusted once dependent children become independent adults.

Those who are interested in protecting their financial future and gaining control over their medical care may wish to talk to an estate planning attorney. Talking to a legal professional may make it easier to create and update medical directives or powers of attorney as necessary. This may increase the odds that an individual's wishes are respected while alive and that heirs get the proper assets after an individual passes on.

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