We encourage you to talk to a lawyer about your estate planning needs. However, for certain small estates and for individuals who are not worried about the costs and expense of probate, we are providing information related to some complimentary California forms below:
These forms and information are not designed to be a substitute for proper estate planning and drafting your own will may have unintended consequences and result in misinterpretation. It also does not prevent probate. However, a will may be a better alternative than having no documents in place.
California Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a document that allows someone else to act on your behalf in a legal capacity. You can have a limited power of attorney to someone for specific circumstances, or it can be general where someone can handle all matters on your behalf. When you create a power of attorney, you are the principal, and the person acting for you is called either your agent or an attorney-in-fact.
The durable power of attorney available for download below is general. It goes into effect after execution and remains in effect until you either destroy or revoke it. Having a completed power of attorney may give you some peace of mind in knowing that you have someone to handle your affairs if you’re unable to do so.
Advanced Health Care Directive
A health care directive is a document that provides for your future medical care and is a guidepost for your loved ones to know how to make health care choices according to your wishes. Part of an Advanced Health Care Directive in California lets you make choices about whether you would like or refuse medical treatment, even if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. It also provides for you to name someone to make decisions about your healthcare. This part springs into action when your doctor determines you lack the ability to understand the nature of your health care decisions, or the ability to make and communicate these health care decisions.
An Advanced Health Care Directive also allows your to speak about organ donation, to designate a physician. An advanced health care directive is a critical component of estate planning, but not the only piece related to your health – having conversations with your loved ones about your wishes will help them understand what decisions you would like them to make if they’re ever in a position to make them on your behalf.