When you examine the statistics, you find that the majority of people in the United States have not executed all of the recommended estate planning documents. Many of us live busy lives and procrastination can often be the order of the day, but there is really no excuse for going through life without making any preparations for the inevitable.
Even if your situation is not very complex, it is important to express your final wishes with regard to the distribution of your financial assets via the execution of a will or a trust.
Additionally, aside from the financial side of things, there is something else to take into consideration.
It is not a particularly pleasant subject to consider, but people do sometimes lose the ability to communicate. As we saw with the highly publicized case of Terri Schiavo a number of years ago, even young people can suffer from catastrophic medical conditions.
Because of the fact that medical science has many advanced capabilities, it may be possible to keep an individual alive indefinitely through the use of artificial life support systems. Different people have different opinions about how they would want to proceed under these circumstances.
By executing an advance health care directive (also called a “living will”), you express your wishes regarding the use of life support. Your own preferences will then be honored should such a situation arise, and there will be no cause for disagreements among family members.
It is also advisable to execute durable powers of attorney naming representatives to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
If you are currently unprepared, right now would be a good time to take action and arrange for a consultation with a licensed and experienced San Jose estate planning lawyer.