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What documents should be included in an estate plan?

Not long ago this Encino-based legal blog discussed the problems that can develop if a person passes away without a will in place. A will is a common and well-known estate planning tool that directs the distribution of a person's property and money to beneficiaries. Though a will is an important tool to have included in one's estate plan, it is not the only thing that a person needs to ensure that their property and rights are protected.

Another important estate planning tool that a person may need to put in place is a living will. This type of estate planning document is necessary to make sure that individuals' medical care wishes are respected and honored. A person who is named in a living will is allowed to make important medical decisions for them if the document creator cannot make decisions for themselves.

Similarly, a durable financial power of attorney document gives the right to manage one's finances to another person in the event that the document creator is not able to do so due to incapacity. A person who holds durable financial power of attorney can pay bills for another person and ensure that their money is managed appropriately during their period of helplessness.

This post does not provide an exhaustive list of all estate planning documents that Californians should consider executing to protect themselves and their end of life estates. As such, readers must contact their trusted estate planning attorneys to figure out what documents they need in their personal estate plans to make sure they are as prepared as possible for their futures.

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