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Helping California Families With Their Estate Needs
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Anyone with assets can benefit from an estate plan. We offer options for people from all walks of life. Estate planning can save your loved ones from making difficult decisions after you pass away or if you become unable to make your own decisions. It can also ensure that your wishes for both your assets and your care will be met.
At The Dayton Law Firm, P.C., our team of San Jose estate planning attorneys is compassionate to families and individuals. We aim to help answer questions about your long-term planning options. We help with a variety of estate needs, including:
Why Choose Us?
We focus on our clients. While some firms seek the highest-value cases with disregard for the clients’ needs, we focus solely on what techniques are going to help you most.
Our firm is located in San Jose and serves the entire Bay Area. We also serve clients throughout California.
Our Recent Blogs
When you are estate planning you have some difficult decisions to make. One of the most important and emotional decisions parents will have to make is who will be their child’s guardian if they both die. They may have chosen you to serve as guardian of their child, but you will want to consider if you are ready to be a guardian before agreeing to do so.
Are you a good fit to be a guardian?
First, you must understand your responsibilities as a guardian. As a guardian you are acting as a parent to a child. If you are working, do you work many hours or work a nighttime shift? You need to be available to care for the child before and after school and at night.
Also, how much money do you earn? You do not need to be a millionaire to raise a child but working part-time may not provide you with enough of an income to meet the child’s needs. The deceased may have left money in their will for the care and support of their child, but this is not always the case and even if it is, it may not be enough in the long term.
Do you know the child well? The parents may have chosen you because you were the most responsible person they knew, but if you do not already have a close relationship with the child it will take time for you and the child to form a loving bond.
Do you already have a family of your own? You may already have your own parenting style and family values. If these do not match with those of the deceased, the child may have a difficult time adjusting to life in your care.
Choosing the best guardian
Parents want to select the best person to be the guardian of their child. If they want to choose you, you should sit down with them and have a conversation about your ability and desire to be a guardian. You may decide you are ready for guardianship, or you may decide guardianship is not right for you. This can help parents decide who is the best person to name as guardian in their will or trust.
For residents of the San Jose area who are beginning to explore their best options for estate planning, there can be many terms or phrases that deserve a bit more research. After all, there are plenty of different “legalese” terms that some people may have never even seen before they started to consider their estate plan. “Power of attorney” might be one of them.
So, what does “power of attorney” mean? Well, in the context of an estate plan, power of attorney means that you give power to another person to make decisions on your behalf. Most commonly, there are two types of power of attorney documents that estate planners will execute: one for finances and one for healthcare.
For a financial power of attorney, the person you select is then empowered to take such actions on your behalf as selling assets, managing bank or retirement accounts, making loan payments – whatever you give them the power to manage in regards to your finances. It is similar for healthcare power of attorney, in which another person is designated to make healthcare decisions on your behalf for things like medical procedures, medications, surgeries – all, of course, if you become unable to express your wishes yourself.
Comprehensive estate plans
When San Jose residents are considering their estate planning needs, they will surely come quick to the determination that power of attorney documents are necessary components of a comprehensive plan. But, each person’s needs, family dynamics and finances are different, so our readers should be sure to do their research to find the options that are best for their own unique circumstances.
Unfortunately, we cannot look into a crystal ball and instantly know our future. Nonetheless, individuals in California and elsewhere can speculate what the future might bring. And with these speculations, you can take steps to better prepare yourself for the good and bad life might have in store for you.
This is where estate planning can come into play, with this process bringing with it valuable documents that not only serve you and your loved ones following your death but also in the event of incapacitation.
Planning for incapacitation
While incapacitation is neither easy nor enjoyable to think about, the fact is that planning for this event is imperative. Without a plan in place, your loved ones will have to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.
These decisions may not align with what you would like them to do. As such, it is important to not only understand the purpose of incapacity planning but to also fully explore how you can personalize the plan to represent your wishes entirely.
Role of conservator
When you name a conservator, you are providing the named individual the authority to make decisions about your daily and long-term needs and care in the event of your incapacitation. These decisions could relate to living arrangements, medical treatments, transportation, meals, recreational activities and other similar decisions.
When a conservatorship is established, the conservator has a fiduciary duty and must always act with the conservatee’s best interests in mind.
Thus, it is important that full consideration is made when naming a conservator and creating an incapacity plan.
The estate planning process can be a major and complex process. An incapacity plan is just one portion of a larger plan, making it important that you gain assistance and support when moving forward with the creation or modification of an estate plan.