California natives may not know that filing a living will can protect their medical rights in the event that they require artificial life support to live. A living will, or advance directive, outlines an individual's life support wishes, such as whether they want to be resuscitated or whether they would like life support to continue to keep them alive. It also prevents family members from being forced to make these important decisions on the individual's behalf. Often, it can be extremely uncomfortable for a loved one to guess what an individual would want in a medical situation. A family member may have to decide whether to prolong that person's life or not to let them go.
Over the years, California residents may need to revise financial decisions they made earlier in life. This might be true for estate plans as well; what sufficed at one time of life may be inappropriate in another.
California residents are likely familiar with several high profile legal battles in recent years involving the termination of life-sustaining treatment for terminally ill individuals. This kind of conflict can place families under a great deal of stress, and it may often be prevented if the individual concerned has drafted a living will. This document outlines what form of treatment an individual will receive if they become incapacitated, and it outlines the circumstances when treatment should be discontinued.
A California resident may wonder about the preparation of a living will, which is a written expression that indicates how someone wants to be treated in given medical situations. An individual may detail wishes for or against life-sustaining measures. Similarly, preferences for tube feeding and other means of providing hydration and nourishment may be expressed.
The legal wrangling between Casey Kasem’s wife and Kasem’s children continues. Last week, a judge ordered an investigation in to Kasem’s whereabouts after his children had complained that he had been removed from the state of California without their knowledge. Kasem, who is best known for his long-running radio show detailing America’s top-40 songs, is 82 years old and suffers from Lewy body dementia, which results in a progressive decline in mental abilities.
In a number of our posts we have noted that estate planning is helpful for people at just about any age. You don’t need to have millions in liquid assets, multiple real estate holdings or tax shelters in order to have a basic estate plan. In fact, just having an idea about how you would want to be treated medically if you are unable to speak, or who you would want to make decisions on your behalf is enough. With this in mind, we offer this post to introduce the basic things you should have in your estate plan.
Many California legal documents, like some trusts, cover asset transfer wishes for individuals in robust health. Other estate planning documents, like wills, have no effect until a person dies. However, neither of these documents will do much good if you become incapacitated and unable to manage your finances and health care decisions.
A California attorney who specializes in helping clients formulate effective estate plans understands the usefulness of wills and trusts, but the average individual may be less familiar. Conversely, an estate planning attorney cannot decide an individual's desires concerning end-of-life medical care, beneficiaries' worthiness or assets to pass on after death.