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
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
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) 275-3283.