General Articles

Planning Your Estate

Most people don’t enjoy thinking about death or the possibility of becoming incapacitated. It’s something that, in general, people hope will happen much, much later in life.

However, if you have loved ones, getting your estate planning California done could mean the difference between calm and chaos in the event of your passing.

Estate planning allows you to consider what you have and decide how those will be taken care of upon your death or incapacitation. As a result, you can help avoid enormous tax or debt burdens on your family members.

Material Items of Value

Anything you own that may be valuable should be made into a list. This includes your home, jewelry, cars, tools, art, collections, etc. As you write your list, be thorough. For example, walk through your home and add to the list as you go. Then, you can look at the list later and decide if there are specific items that you want a particular person to have in the event of your death.

Non-Material Assets and Debts

Continue by listing all of the things you have of value that are not physically present—retirement or bank accounts, investments, insurance policies, etc. Be as specific as possible and include all of the account numbers. It may be helpful to note where you have the papers for each of these accounts or gather them together in one place.

When making a list of debts, consider auto loans, mortgage loans, credit card debt, lines of credit, personal loans, and more.


List any memberships you might have or organizations that you support. Then, you can decide if you’d like any of those organizations to receive donations upon your passing. Many associations also have life insurance benefits for their members, which can help your family members or beneficiaries to help with funeral costs.

Recruiting Help

This might seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. After you have a good idea of your assets and debts, you can talk to a lawyer or specialist in estate planning who can help guide you.