What Do You Need In an Estate Plan?

When it comes to creating an estate plan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your options. There are several different types of documents you can include in an estate plan, and there are many ways you can go about preserving your assets according to your particular circumstances. There is no perfect formula for an estate plan that works for everyone, so making the right choices for you can take some time and effort.

In order to determine what you need in your estate plan, you need to learn about the different components. An estate plan typically includes any combination of the following:

A Will

A will is one of the most important parts of any estate plan. A properly drafted will provides direction for the individual’s estate, determining how assets will be divided and distributed. Additionally, a will can help parents of children under the age of 18 by appointing a legal guardian on their behalf.


Establishing a trust might be a more beneficial way for you to distribute your assets, especially if you are concerned that family members may contest your will. Trusts often allow the owner more control over their assets, and they can be set up and used while the trustor is still living, depending on the details of the trust itself. A trust can also help the family members avoid probate after the trustor passes away.

Health Care Directives

Creating a health care directive is very important when it comes to protecting your medical rights. Within the health care directive, you can specify precisely how you would like your medical care managed. If you would not like to be resuscitated, if you do not want to rely on life support machines, or if you have any other healthcare preferences, they can be specified here. A health care directive will also appoint someone to make medical decisions in your stead, called a medical power of attorney, if you are unable to do so. If, for example, you are in a coma, and your medical power of attorney is your adult daughter, she will be legally able to make medical decisions for you.

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney can be appointed for a few different reasons, including medical and financial. You may choose to appoint a medical power of attorney within your health care directive to allow someone you trust to control your medical care if you are unable to do so. You can also appoint a financial power of attorney to act on behalf of your financial interests. The financial power of attorney may manage your expenses, make payments, and otherwise manage your wealth while you cannot. You may choose to appoint the same person as your medical and financial power of attorney, or you may appoint different people. In most cases, the power of attorney is given to grown children, spouses, or siblings.

Creating an estate plan can be challenging, and the contents of each plan vary depending on the wishes and circumstances of the individual. If you are in need of a will or estate plan, make sure you speak to a legal professional about your needs.

Contact Chung & Ignacio, LLP to speak with our Rancho Cucamonga estate planning lawyers today.