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Simple Estate Planning in Oakland, CA

Retain an Oakland Estate Planning Lawyer

With numerous years' experience in estate and financial planning, Summerall Law, P.C. knows how to create simple, effective estate plans. If you are interested in setting up an estate plan to protect the financial future of your loved ones, I am here to help. As an estate planning attorney, I am committed to providing you the highest quality of legal services. I know how confusing estate planning can be, which is why my firm offers simple services. These plans will not work for everyone, as some financial situations are much more complex. Still, they provide a great starting point and basic plan for individuals who want to keep things simple.

For Everyone (Best for Singles)

While this strategy could be used by anyone, it is most useful for singles without children. If you aren't ready to create an advanced estate plan, but would like to have some legal documents in place in case of an emergency, this is a great option. You will need to think through these two questions:

  • Who is the person you trust the most?
  • Who is the person you trust second?

From here, you will decide who will be in charge of your assets and who will stand in as your healthcare agent (the person who makes healthcare decisions for you in the event of incapacity). You will want consider who you would like to be in control of distributing your assets from your will and oversee your healthcare.

The will and living will should probably be handled by the same individual, so you will want to select a person who could handle both of these aspects. Once you have selected the first person you trust in for both categories, it is also beneficial to select an alternate (the second person you trust).

Married Couples or Domestic Partners flowers

The simplest form for married couples or partners is to leave all of your property to your spouse and to name your spouse as your healthcare proxy. This means your spouse will be in charge of your will and living will. You should still think of alternate, in case you both pass away or become incapacitated at the same time.

The most common option is to split assets between immediate family or one trusted family member from each side. If you have a separate bank accounts, either start a joint emergency account or set up an account to be payable on death to your partner so they will have access to cash in the event of an emergency.

Couples with Minor Children

The most basic way to approach this situation is to leave all of your property to your spouse and name them as your healthcare agent. You should both name any children as alternate beneficiaries to protect their stake in your property. In the event you are both in an accident, you will also want to nominate a guardian.

It is common to leave children all of your property and have the nominated guardian be the "custodian of the estate." This is the person who will be in charge of managing the estate until your children reach the age of 18. It is generally included that they can use a reasonable portion of funds for the care of the children.

A living trust can also be useful for ensuring that the proceeds of your estate do not pass to your children until they are mature enough to handle the responsibility. A trust may also help loved ones to avoid probate, making those funds available to your spouse or guardian as soon as possible.

Couples with Adult Children golfing

The simplest form is to leave your property to your spouse and to name them as your healthcare proxy. In case you both pass at the same time, you should both name an alternate healthcare proxy and decide how you would like to split the estate. The most common form is to split the assets evenly between children. If you have separate bank accounts, you may consider setting up an emergency account that your spouse or children can access in the event of an accident or name your spouse as the Pay-on-Death beneficiary.

To get started on creating a simple estate plan, contact Summerall Law, P.C. today at (415) 944-9406.

summerall law
Summerall Law, P.C. - Oakland Estate Planning Attorney
Located at 3873 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 8,
Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (415) 944-9406
Local Phone: (415) 944-9406

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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