An experienced estate planning attorney office in Santa Rosa, California, The Law Offices of Richard Sax is here to give you advice for when you are writing out your basic estate planning documents, otherwise known as your final wishes. You need to have 4 basic estate planning documents in place:

1. A Will

A will leaves basic instructions that outline your final wishes like who will receive your property. This part of your estate planning can also name an executor, name guardians for children and their property, and delegate how taxes and debts will be paid.

It is possible to write one yourself, but as an estate planning attorney in Santa Rosa, California, Richard Sax will advise you to consider contacting a lawyer to help you create a fool-proof document. That way, you know that your requests are outlined correctly to avoid any confusion.

2. A Living Trust

A living trust is created by the grantor while still alive. Similar to the previous estate planning document, this one allows you to arrange distribution of your assets upon your death. What’s different, though, is that it is created by a grantor (the person setting up the trust) who names a trustee (the person responsible for managing the trust). While you are still alive, you transfer title to your property from your name to that of the trustee of the living trust. You can use the trust to gather your property under one document, so that the property is distributed efficiently outside of probate court after your death.

Basically, this estate planning document is essential to avoiding the delays and large costs associated with probate, an expensive legal procedure, when passing on property.

3. A Durable Financial Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney for finances is a simple way to set someone in charge of your finances in case you become incapacitated. In such situations, you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Setting up a durable financial power of attorney can help your family greatly in a time of crisis.

4. A Medical Directive

A medical directive outlines your desires for your health should you ever become incapacitated and unable to make the decisions yourself. This instruction can save your loved ones the grief and heartache of having to decide for you. No one wants to make that decision for someone else.

Hire an Estate Planning Attorney in Santa Rosa, California

The Law Offices of Richard Sax can help you write up your basic estate planning documents to ensure that they will hold up legally and will not force your family to go through the pain and cost of probate.

Do not wait to start your estate planning documents. If you are in need of an estate planning attorney in Santa Rosa, California, give us call at (707) 525-1824 or email for a free initial consultation.