What is proper estate planning? It’s more than merely preparing a will. A properly-drafted, comprehensive estate plan will require the services of an estate planning attorney who will help you create several complex legal documents. In Southern California, you’ll find the right estate planning lawyer at Barilari & Williams, with offices in both Long Beach and Pasadena.

It’s a popular misconception that estate planning is exclusively for the elderly or the wealthy. Yes, proper estate planning spells out who inherits your assets and property when that time comes, but it also reduces the exposure to unnecessary expenses to your estate, which can generate undue costs for your beneficiaries. And most importantly, proper estate planning sets up a financial security plan to protect your loved ones after you’re no longer here for them.

The appropriate estate plan is essential for families, business owners, and anyone who owns assets or properties. If you are 18 years old or older, it’s time to start planning your estate, but there are no one-size-fits-all estate plans. Each plan is unique. The final version of your estate plan will depend on your own business, family, and financial situation.

What Can the Right Estate Plan Accomplish?

Done right, the estate planning process does more than merely create legal documents. Throughout the process, you make informed choices to ensure that your instructions are followed and your wishes are honored – without legal interference – after your death or if you are incapacitated.

You may already know that wills and trusts provide directions for settling an estate after someone’s death. Even those who have modest estates should prepare a trust or a will.

What Should An Estate Plan Include?

Basic estate planning can be accomplished with a will, durable power of attorney, and advanced health care directive, but most estates typically also require the creation of a trust. After reviewing your circumstances, a Long Beach Estate planning attorney can determine if a will or a trust is best for you.

A more comprehensive estate plan goes beyond a will or a trust. The estate planning attorneys at Barilari & Williams help clients prepare estate plans that include durable powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, and living wills.

Should you become incapacitated or disabled, a durable power of attorney authorizes someone you have designated to oversee your financial affairs and to make financial or business decisions for you.

An advanced health care directive authorizes someone you have designated to make particular health care decisions on your behalf, and your living will can ensure that you will not be subjected to “heroic” or extraordinary life support measures.

A Long Beach estate planning attorney can also prepare a health care proxy for your child or children to cover situations where you might not be able to make those choices – if a child’s parents or guardians become incapacitated due to a traffic collision, for example.

Is It Time to Sit Down With a Long Beach Estate Planning Lawyer?

Please don’t try “do-it-yourself” estate planning. We can’t emphasize this strongly enough. Do-it-yourself “kits” and blank estate planning forms offer incomplete legal protection. Your estate – and your family – need more. The money you might think you are saving today could cost your loved ones dearly tomorrow.

With offices in Pasadena and Long Beach, a Southern California estate planning attorney at Barilari & Williams can prepare an enforceable, effective, basic or comprehensive estate plan that addresses your circumstances and expresses your instructions clearly and precisely.

To learn more, or to begin the estate planning process, your first meeting with an attorney at Barilari & Williams is offered at no cost. Call us now at 888-EST-PLAN to schedule that consultation.