March is spring cleaning month, and people everywhere have been grabbing their mops, brooms, vacuums, and scrubbing brushes to tackle all those neglected projects in their homes. Spring is a great time to clean, declutter, and organize, but according to Crista Hermance, a Ventura estate planning attorney at Hermance Law in Ventura, it’s also a time to address other neglected areas of your life—like your estate plan.
(PRUnderground) March 31st, 2023
In honor of spring cleaning month, Good Housekeeping recently posted 43 Spring Cleaning Tips from leading cleaning and organization experts. These tips get into the nitty gritty of finally getting all those problem areas—like ovens, blinds, and ceiling fans—nice and clean.
All that organizing and washing can bring to mind all the other neglected areas in our lives, Hermance said.
“Since you’re thinking about getting life in order anyways, spring is the perfect time to review your estate planning documents and ensure they’re up to date, especially if you’ve had any major life changes since you last updated them,” she noted.
What Is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is a set of legal documents that outline your wishes for what should happen to your assets and property after you die. It can also include instructions for your medical care and other important decisions if you become incapacitated.
Some common estate planning documents include:
- Powers of attorney
- Healthcare directives
What Should You Review in Your Estate Plan?
When reviewing your estate plan this spring, Hermance said there are several things you should look for.
Here are some key areas to focus on.
Your Last Will and Testament
Your will is a legal document that outlines how your assets and property should be distributed after you die.
“Reviewing this document periodically is important to ensure it still reflects your wishes,” Hermance said.
If you’ve had any major life changes—such as getting married, having children, or getting divorced—you may need to update your will with a Ventura will lawyer to reflect these changes.
Your Revocable Trust
A trust is a legal arrangement in which a trustee holds and manages assets to benefit beneficiaries. Trusts can be used for various purposes, such as avoiding probate, providing for minor children, or protecting assets from creditors.
If you’ve set up a revocable trust (one that can be altered throughout your life), it’s important to review it periodically with a Ventura trust lawyer to ensure it still works for you.
Your Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. You may have different powers of attorney for different purposes, such as financial or medical decisions.
“It’s important to review your powers of attorney periodically to ensure the named individuals are still who you want in place,” Hermance said.
Your Healthcare Directive
A healthcare directive—also known as a living will—is a legal document that outlines your wishes for medical care if you cannot make decisions for yourself. It is important to review your healthcare directive periodically to ensure it reflects your wishes for medical treatments and other healthcare-related items.
Why You Should Work with an Estate Planning Lawyer
While it’s possible to create an estate plan on your own, it’s better to work with an estate planning lawyer. A lawyer can help you create a plan tailored to your needs and goals. They can also help you navigate the complex legal requirements of creating an estate plan.
Hermance Law has six office locations in California:
- Ventura office — 4476 Market St., Suite 602, Ventura, CA 93003
- Westlake Village office — 2829 Townsgate Rd., STE 100, Westlake Village, CA 91361
- Valencia office — 28015 Smyth Dr., Valencia, CA 91355
- Pasadena office — 1055 E Colorado Blvd., Suite 500, Pasadena, CA 91106
- Irvine office — 15615 Alton Pkwy. #450, Irvine, CA 92618
- Calabasas office — 26565 W Agoura Rd., Suite 200, Calabasas, CA 91302
About Hermance Law
Hermance Law is a California law firm with an experienced team of Ventura estate planning attorneys and legal staff. Serving areas like Ventura, Calabasas, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and other areas in California, the law firm handles a range of estate planning practice areas, including wills, trusts, probate, trust administration, and guardianship.
Book a free consult with one of the firm’s talented Ventura estate planning lawyers. Hermance Law is located at 4476 Market St, Suite 602, Ventura, CA 93003 but has six total locations throughout southern California.
About Hermance Law
Hermance Law is a trusted California law firm serving Ventura, Calabasas, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and other areas in the state. The firm provides comprehensive estate planning services, including wills, trusts, probate, and guardianship.
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Original Press Release.