California residents and others who don’t have children can still benefit from creating an estate plan. This is because they will still need others to assist them in paying bills or taking care of other tasks if they became incapacitated. Appointing a financial agent may make it easier to ensure that investments are properly managed and that taxes are paid on time. The power of attorney can be as broad or narrow as necessary to meet a person’s needs.
A living will, health care proxy and health care power of attorney may help determine the type of care that a person receives after becoming incapacitated. It is also important to sign a HIPAA authorization form so that an agent can have access to a person’s medical records. Living trusts are another tool that childless individuals can use to manage their affairs if they become disabled or incapacitated.
Living trusts may be managed by another person, an attorney or a financial institution. A bank or other type of financial institution may be the ideal trustee for those who don’t have anyone in their lives to manage their money. Furthermore, a corporate entity will not die or otherwise be unable or unwilling to manage a person’s affairs. Regardless of who the trustee is, having a living will may allow an estate to avoid probate.
An attorney may be an important part of an individual’s estate planning team. This person may be able to review a will, trust or any other plan document that a person has created. In some cases, legal counsel will be able to help create or edit plan documents for an individual. This may ensure that an individual has the tools necessary to manage his or her affairs while alive and after passing.