Everyone needs an agent – and not the Hollywood type. An agent is someone you designate to handle your estate after you’ve gone or who can make decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself. Here are the kinds of agents everyone needs:
Executor – an executor is the person you designate to carry out your wishes for distributing your assets as listed in your last will and testament. You can choose a family member, a trusted friend or even a professional to fill this role.
Guardian – if you and your spouse die before your children reach adulthood, a guardian is the person you designate to take care of your minor children as well as handle their finances. Sometimes people decide to split the roles – one guardian to raise the children and another to handle the finances. Choosing a guardian (as well as a backup in case your first choice cannot serve) ensures your kids are taken care of by the people you know, love and trust, no matter what. One of the best ways to protect your children is to have a comprehensive Kids Protection Plan®. Without it, your children are at risk of being taken into the care of strangers if the people you’ve named as permanent guardians don’t live nearby or if your legal documents cannot be located.
Durable Power of Attorney – this person is designated by you to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become disabled or otherwise unable to manage your financial affairs.
Power of Attorney for Healthcare – also known as a healthcare proxy, this is the person you designate to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself and is an important decision when creating your advance medical directives. Their powers can be invoked if you become disabled and unable to make your own decisions about your health care, so your choice should be someone you know will carry out the wishes you have expressed in your advance medical directives or Living Will. They also need to be able to stand up for you if family members have different ideas than you do about your medical treatment.
This article is a service of Kundani& Chang LLP. We are an award-winning law firm that specializes in business and estate planning for clients like you. The goal for every family is to stay educated on all topics like this, avoid probate, avoid estate taxes, and build a legacy for you and your loved ones. What sets our firm apart is that we build lasting, lifelong relationships with our clients. They rely on us to keep them updated, provide sound legal counsel, and be there for them immediately if any problems should ever arise. The best part is we don’t charge hourly fees to our families, so you never have to worry about speaking to us. If you’re ready to keep your family out of Court, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or visit our website at www.CaliforniaEstateLawyers.com.