One of the best parts of an estate planning attorney’s job is answering client questions. It’s an essential part of the estate planning process so we’ve outlined some of your questions below. This is part III in our three part estate planning question series.
What does an advance health care directive do?
An advance health care directive, sometimes called a medical power of attorney or durable power of attorney for health care, authorizes named health care agents to make health care decisions on your behalf and allows you to set forth your instructions for decisions such as end of life care, organ donation and relief of pain.
The advance health care directive is only used if you are unable to make health care decisions for yourself.
I just moved to California. Do I need a new estate plan?
Whether you need a new estate plan should be determined by an experienced and qualified California estate planning attorney.
Some or all of your documents may need to be updated because laws vary from state to state. There are many differences, especially among certain powers of attorney and marital property rights.
All documents should to be reviewed when you move to a new state.
I’m not sure if I want my step-child to inherit from me. What should I do?
No children, including step-children, are automatically entitled to receive an inheritance.
If you want your step-child to inherit from you, you should specifically name her in your estate plan. If you do not name her, she will not inherit.
Factors to consider would be the size of your estate, your children, your relationship with step-children, the relationships between all the children, and the desires of your spouse.
I lost my power of attorney. What do I do?
You must execute a new power of attorney promptly. Copies of estate planning documents may not be accepted by various companies and agencies where you may need to use it.
If you need to provide an original power of attorney, bring the original, but have them make a copy. Don’t give away original estate planning documents as they will not be available the next time they are needed.
Be sure to bring all of your estate planning questions to an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.