Q: What is a Pour-Over Will?
A: A Will tells the Probate court how to distribute your assets upon your death. Whereas a "Pour-Over Will” pours any of the assets that were not placed in your Trust during your lifetime into the Trust upon your death to be administered and ultimately disposed of pursuant to the provisions of your Trust. A Pour-Over Will is basically a clean-up mechanism, not a substitute for transferring assets into your Trust during your lifetime, and any assets that are transferred to your Trust under your Pour-Over Will will likely be subject to Probate.
REMINDER: WILLS DO NOT AVOID PROBATE. A PROPERLY FUNDED TRUST AVOIDS PROBATE.
Click HERE to view the California Statutory Power of Attorney Form.
It is important to note that no amount of legal documentation and preparation can guarantee that your health care wishes are followed. This is a very sensitive topic where strong emotions are involved.
Click HERE to view the California Statutory Advance Health Care Directive Form.
Q: What is an Advance Health Care Directive?
A: An Advance Health Care Directive (also commonly referred to as a “Living Will”, “Physician’s Directive”, or a “Directive to Physicians”) is where you convey to your Health Care Agent and health care personnel your desires concerning life sustaining treatment and anatomical gifts.
Q: What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?
A: A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to designate those individuals who will make health care decisions for you upon your incapacity. These people are referred to as your “Health Care Agents.”
Q: What is a General Durable Power of Attorney?
A: A General Durable Power of Attorney authorizes the person designated as your "Agent" to act on your behalf with respect to your financial affairs. The version of this document we prepare is sometimes called a “Springing” Power of Attorney. This is because your Agent is not immediately given the power to manage your financial affairs upon you signing this document. Rather, the power “springs” into effect upon your incapacity.
Q: What is a HIPAA Authorization?
A: “HIPAA” stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. A HIPAA Authorization provides the Health Care Agent named in your Health Care Power of Attorney with access to your medical information. Hospitals generally will not release your medical information to anyone, including a spouse or close family member, unless they are provided with a HIPAA Authorization. You may choose to provide executed copies of the Health Care Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directives, and HIPAA Authorizations to your health care providers for their information and to retain in your medical records.
Q: What is a Certification of Trust?
A: When dealing with assets held in your Trust, third parties often want evidence that you are the Trustee and have the power to enter into the transaction at issue (e.g., selling real estate, opening a brokerage account, etc.). In such a case, providing the person with a copy of the Certification of Trust rather than the full Trust Agreement provides them with the information they need, and keeps private the information with respect to the Trust’s beneficiaries and the disposition of the assets in your Trust upon your death.
• Revocable Living Trust
• Certification of Trust
• Trust Summary
• Trust Funding Instructions
• Pour-Over Will
• Durable Power of Attorney
• Assignment of Personal Property
Q: What documents are included in an estate plan?
A: People typically people think of Wills and Trusts in conjunction with estate planning. However, these are merely two components of a complete and cohesive estate plan. A properly prepared estate plan should include at least the following documents:
Therefore the best advice we can provide is for you to ensure that your Health Care Agents know what your wishes are and that they are willing to follow your instructions despite any personal feelings they may have to the contrary.
Q: I’m not married. Why should I have a Trust?
A: How do you want to be remembered when you pass away? Someone will need to take care of your final affairs. Do you want to force your friends, family, or other loved ones to appear in court to resolve your affairs? Show your loved ones you care about them by having a well organized and up-to-date estate plan.