A recent poll described in Forbes.com found that many of those who had done no estate planning (in California and elsewhere) were deterred by the legal cost and mistakenly believed that those without large assets didn’t need to plan. Half of Americans don’t have any of the most basic estate planning documents, including a will, a living trust and financial and medical powers of attorney, needed to protect them (and their assets) if they’re incapacitated.
Why do so many people lack estate planning documents? One reason might be because of the recession: 44% of those without any documents said the reason was because they were more focused on “essentials” like paying bills and buying groceries. Contributing to this oversight, however, were misconceptions about the primary purpose of estate documents or what might happen if someone hasn’t planned.
For example, 19% of those with no documents said they didn’t have sufficient assets to warrant estate planning. Yet wealth and the estate tax have little to do with the need for basic legal documents should you become disabled.
Speak with a qualified estate planning attorney soon about how a California living trust, pour over will, durable power of attorney for property management and advance health care directive might help you. Call Mitchell A. Port at 310.559.5259.