The smartest time to get your affairs in order, is when you’re healthy, regardless of a pandemic, advises NBC Bay Area’s recent article entitled “3 Steps to Take Now in Case COVID-19 Leaves You Critically Ill.”
You should talk to an estate planning attorney and think about these three steps to consider taking yourself before you meet:
- Prepare your end-of-life care
- Decide what your wishes are for your assets; and
- Plan your funeral or memorial service if one is desired.
Prepare End-of-Life Care. For end-of-life care, many people have what’s sometimes called a “living will”. In California, it’s often a six-page form called the Advanced Health Care Directive. With it, you can set forth your wishes about your end-of-life care and designate a decision-maker.
In California, you can download an advanced health care directive form for free, via the California Courts website. It’s actually pretty easy to read. Note: you’ll need two witnesses to sign it with you.
Decide what your wishes are for your assets. This is where an attorney can really be key. You can discuss who you’ll want as an executor to coordinate your estate and probate. You can also think about who you want to receive your home, vehicles, funds in your bank accounts and other assets.
There are a number of important legal aspects to consider, and you can talk to your legal counsel about the process.
Your Funeral Plans. You also need to be certain that the details of your final wishes are known. It’s a good idea to write down exactly what you want or don’t want.
It’s not uncommon for families to have a hard time with these choices, when someone dies without a plan. Prevent conflict and stress, by writing your wishes down now.
It’s best to work with an attorney who specializes in estate planning, wills and trusts.