By David Baron
Estate planning is overwhelming and many individuals put it off for too long. Once a catastrophe happens it may already be too late. It is important to have the basics set up and revisions can always be made later. There are three essentials.
The First Essential
Your documents relating to health care are important. If you are unable to make your own decisions at some point in time an Advanced Medical Directive becomes critical. This gives an individual you have chosen permission to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so.
Another important document is a Power of Attorney for your health and medical needs. This allows you to specifically choose who will make decisions regarding your health. The final document of importance is a living will. This lets people know if you want a treatment that will sustain your life, if you want to donate your organs and what treatments are acceptable if you are in pain. You do have the option of amending or revoking these documents at any time.
The Second Essential
Complete directions regarding the guardianship of your children need to be in place. Without these instructions, the State can take custody of your children in an emergency. This means your children can conceivably end up living in a foster home or be in the middle of a stressful fight between relatives seeking custody. You need to choose who will care for your children in the event of the death of both parents.
The Third Essential
Do not put off the completion of your estate planning. You will eventually require a trust, will or estate planning documents. Although your plan will probably change or evolve over time having the essentials in place is critical. Consulting with Palm Springs trust and estate lawyers is a tremendous help.