Everyone needs help at some point in their lives. Often, California residents are able to ask someone they trust for help at a given time. However, if a person becomes incapacitated, it is unlikely that he or she will have the ability to indicate who should help or how the person should help. For this reason, it is important to use estate planning to prepare for such scenarios.

When it comes to having the help one needs when it is needed, power of attorney documents can be useful tools. This document can allow a person to appoint an individual or multiple individuals to handle important decisions relating to property, health care and finances. For example, if a financial issue arises or a need to pay certain expenses after a person becomes incapacitated, having a financial power of attorney agent appointed could allow for an easier transition in terms of having someone else make financial decisions on the person’s behalf.

Another way an estate plan can help with decision-making is with a living trust. A person can create a living trust that allows him or her to transfer assets out of the estate for protection and for distribution later. A trust can detail to whom the assets should go and how they should be used, and it can also add more privacy as trust assets do not go through probate.

The tools a person uses during estate planning differ from case to case. Some California residents may want to create a comprehensive plan that addresses all areas of their lives, and others may wish to keep their plans more simple. In either case, having power of attorney appointments and trusts could make for solid plans that leave fewer aspects up to chance.