Common mistakes in California estate planning

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning can be an intimidating process for many California residents. From the outside looking in, it can seem exceptionally complicated and very emotional.

A good estate plan is worth the time and energy spent though. As you’re starting the estate planning process, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make it easier on your family.

Address end of life care

No one wants to think about this, but planning out what happens to you towards the end of your life will alleviate a lot of burden from your children’s shoulders. In addition to helping your family, picking out your own nursing home (or other living arrangements) can give you an additional sense of control when you need it most.

In addition, you should also plan how any potential disabilities will be handled. It’s not unheard of for people to lose their hearing, sight, or mobility as they get older – planning for that now could help you down the line.

Get your beneficiaries in order

Your beneficiaries are your children, friends, or other family members who will inherit your assets after you’ve passed. It’s important to not only list beneficiaries, but contingency beneficiaries as well.

Contingent beneficiaries will be the backup beneficiaries, essentially. For example, it’s very common for your spouse to be a beneficiary, but your children would be backup beneficiaries if your spouse has already died.

It’s also important to update your beneficiaries as often as you can, as well as update the other aspects of your estate plan. You’ll also want to make sure your beneficiaries are listed on your life insurance policies, property deeds, etc.

There’s a lot of pressure to get it right the first time, but don’t let that stop you. The only thing worse than setting up your estate plan wrong is not having an estate plan at all.