If you are reading this, you need an updated estate plan so call your estate planning attorney now. Everyone age 18 or older already has an estate plan. What?! Yes, you have an estate plan, but if you’re like most people, it’s not the plan that you want.
If you do not have your own estate plan in place, the state of California dictates what happens when you become disabled (or die.) If you become disabled and do not have proper legal documentation via a Power of Attorney and/or Living Trust, there will be a Court case, a conservatorship, to determine if you are indeed incompetent and cannot manage your daily business affairs.
Conservatorships are public, expensive, time consuming, and heart breaking. And, a stranger may be named as the Court’s representative to manage your finances. This is true even if you have a spouse and is especially true if your spouse is elderly.
Your assets, even joint assets such as those owned with your spouse (sibling or child), are frozen and used for your benefit by the court appointed representative. Your spouse cannot access funds to pay bills and cannot sell real estate in joint names without Court permission. And, remember, that the Court is mandated to look out for your best interests, not those of your spouse.
This mess can totally be avoided with an estate plan of your choosing. Please call my office for an appointment and set up or update your estate plan now. 858-792-5988.