Estate planning is the process of putting your last wishes into writing. The estate plan will often include a revocable living trust, pour-over will, advance health care directive, and power of attorney for financial affairs. Procrastination in finalizing your estate plan is not unusual, as it necessarily means you have to face your own mortality.
Many people wait to take care of this important task, sometimes leaving their survivors in the dark, mystified at the result of the procrastination, like a never-acknowledged child claiming the entire estate of a person everyone believed to be childless. Nevertheless, when clients are able to leave the office with their trust and related documents, they usually can breathe a sigh of relief and feel that this important business has been completed.
Some people will attempt to prepare their trust or will themselves, only their wishes are never realized because their “do it yourself” will or trust is not in compliance with California law. Consulting with an attorney is essential to avoid this unintended and sometimes unpleasant outcome.