A large number of young families do not have an estate plan because they believe they are too expensive, they are too young to have anything happen to them, or too healthy. But, even the young are subject to accidents, injuries and illnesses. In those cases, young families find themselves vulnerable and find their families subject to the rules of the courts, instead of their own wishes.
There are a number of resources that can assist with an overall estate plan, and many attorneys would be happy to help curb the cost of the plan for those that are financially in need. Some attorneys will pitch the “all-in-one” plan where they will be willing to help finance a complete plan, while others will be more receptive to pointing you in the right direction, and allowing you to complete the research, completing the forms yourself, and/or giving you advice on how to execute the forms legally.
Most of the information a family requires to put their estate plan together is available on the Internet. I would argue that most of the forms required for an adequate plan that covers most young families are available as downloadable forms and can be printed, completed, and signed. The only document present in the plan that would arguably require an attorney to draft would be a Trust. A trust is legal agreement between the trustor and the trustee to hold property in trust for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. The language in these documents tends to be a little more complicated and “legal” than other forms, and these documents will usually require an attorney to ensure their completeness.
Here are a few links to California forms that will help you to complete your estate plan:
If you are a young family, and you are looking to complete an estate plan, I hope these links help to get you started on that plan!
Please feel free to contact this office for a free consultation if you have any questions.