Happy Summer Solstice and Fourth of July
I'm celebrating the longest day of the year and the Fourth by finally sending out my first quarterly newsletter to clients and prospective clients. I hope you find these newsletters useful.
My intent is to provide you, or people you know, with useful information about estate planning three to four times a year. If there are topics that you'd like me to cover, please send me an email and let me know. If you have friends or family that can use the information, please feel free to forward this to them. And, if you'd like to unsubscribe to this newsletter, that's easy to do, just click on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the page.
Now that it is summer many of you are off traveling. I often get phone calls right before a big trip, when the prospect of a long plane ride reminds people that they haven't yet gotten their estate plans in place, want to make changes to the ones that they've already got, or want to make sure that their adult children have the right documents in place, just in case.
Much as I try to help everyone who calls, sometimes (often) there's just not enough time to update their documents before that plane takes off or the road trip starts. What to do?
Although none of the documents I'm about to suggest take the place of a well-drafted Will or trust, they can serve to get something in place before a trip, quickly and with minimal or no expense. Upon your return, you can come in and get the job done right -- but at least you can take to the skies with some peace of mind.
Once you've gotten these documents signed, either give them to a trusted friend or relative until you get back home, or let people know where to find them should something happen to you while you are traveling.
Wills -- The California State Bar Association offers a statutory Will. This is a fill-in-the-blank Will that you can print out, fill in, and sign before two witnesses that are unrelated to you and not named in the document. A Will allows you to leave your property to specific people and name guardians for minor children.
Durable Power of Attorney -- here's a link to the California statutory Durable Power of Attorney. You use this Durable Power of Attorney to appoint someone to act as your Agent with respect to property. You need to have this notarized.
Advance Health Care Directive --The California Medical Association offers a downloadable Advance Health Care Directive kit for six dollars. You use this Directive to appoint Agents who can make medical decisions for you and to state your end of life choices, and to make yourself available as an organ donor. You can sign this form in front of two witnesses, or take it to a notary public.
Parental Medical Release Form -- If you are going out of town without the kids, here is a simple form that I wrote that you can leave with their caretakers. You've signed a million of these for school field trips, but it's easy to forget this item on your endless pre-vacation to-do list. However, you, as parents, have legal authoriy to authorize medical and dental care under California law, and may authorize, in writing, an adult into whose care you've placed a minor, to consent to medical care, or dental care, or both. Without such consent, a doctor cannot treat a minor, which explains why you have to sign all of those forms before field trips.
Of course, when you do get back, please do give me a call and we can get to work to get the job done right. Until then, bon voyage!
This Newsletter is for information and discussion purposes only. Before any action is taken, professional advice, based on your specific situation, should be obtained.