Building a Legacy | Estate Planning

Building a Legacy

Related to Estate Planning, Advance Directives,
and End of Life


During an educational webinar about estate planning, Attorney Brian Barboza explained the terms below. Please watch this video for more information.


The decisions made through the estate planning process helps to get worldly affairs in order and removes burdens and complications for those that remain after one’s passing.


Many people put it off, which can be risky for both you and the people you care about.


Why is it that many of us procrastinate or avoid creating an estate plan? Many experts agree, because it is difficult confronting our own mortality. Death is natural and inevitable. Death is part of life.


As many of us witnessed over the last 2.5 years, life can change in the blink of an eye. By discussing and planning for your personal preferences, you will feel unburdened once your dying wishes are in order. You will have the assurance of knowing that your end-of-life care aligns with your wishes and values.


Working with a legal expert and your medical professional is vital to make your final wishes legal and valid.

The individual(s) or organization(s) that will receive property from the trust when the settlor dies.
A general term that describes two kinds of legal documents, living wills and medical powers of attorney. These documents allow a person to give instructions about future medical care should they be unable to participate in medical decisions due to serious illness or incapacity. Each state regulates the use of advance directives differently.
An irrevocable trust that generates an income stream for you, reduces capital gains, and provides a charitable gift tax deduction.
A doctor’s written order instructing the healthcare team not to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when the heart or breathing stops. A person with a DNR order will not be given CPR when this happens. The DNR order is written at the request of a person or their family; it must be signed by a doctor to be valid. A non-hospital DNR order is written for people who are at home and do not want to receive CPR.
The preparation and arranging for management and distribution of an individual's asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death.
Care for the terminally ill patient in the last six months of life when the goal care changes from cure to comfort. Hospice is a team approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to the person's needs and wishes. Most of the care is provided in the patient’s home or the place they call home (nursing home, assisted living or independent living).
A trust created by a settlor (a person) and the trust can be changed and or amended during the lifetime of the settlor, according to Attorney Brian Barboza.
Treatments or medical procedures that replace or support a vital body function (may also be called life support treatments). Life-sustaining treatments such as CPR, breathing tubes, nutrition and hydration through tubes and IV’s, kidney dialysis, and other treatments.
A written statement detailing a person's desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive.
A document that names an individual to make decisions about his or her medical care if he or she is unable to communicate. This type of advance directive may also be called a healthcare proxy, durable power of attorney for healthcare or appointment of a healthcare agent. The person named may be called a healthcare agent, surrogate, attorney-in-fact or proxy.
A way of treating serious illness that focuses on the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of the patient. The goal of Palliative Care is to reach the best quality of life available to the patient by relieving suffering and controlling pain and symptoms. Palliative Care may be offered at any point during a chronic or terminal illness. You do not need to be in hospice to receive relief of symptoms of pain, nausea, shortness of breath, anorexia, fatigue and the like — due to your illness. Palliative Care may be offered in the hospital or at times in an outpatient care setting.
A legal document allowing one person to act in a legal matter on another's behalf about financial or real estate business.
A physician's order that outlines a plan of end of life care reflecting both a patient's preferences concerning care at life's end and a physician's judgment based on a medical evaluation.
No description listed.
An arrangement whereby a trustee (a person) holds property as its owner for the good of one or more beneficiaries. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable.
A legal document that determines how an individual’s assets will be handled after they die. Must be signed by two witnesses to be valid. A will can be handwritten (also known as a holographic will); however, typewritten is preferred.

To learn more about the process and to gain solutions to overcome barriers to future planning, watch the webinar “Estate Planning and Defining Your Legacy.”


Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the cost for an estate plan?
Costs for estate plans depend on the complexity of the estate. Average estate plans in California range from $2,500 to $5,000, or more depending on legal circumstances.

What if your successor trustee dies before you do? Who acts as a professional trustee? A lawyer?
A lawyer can act as a professional trustee as well as certain companies and other professionals and institutions that do estate administration work.

What is a holographic will?
A holographic will is a handwritten will that you write and sign yourself and is an alternative to a will produced by a lawyer. According to Investopedia, holographic wills do not need to be witnessed or notarized, which can lead to some issues. Additionally, some states do not recognize holographic wills. States that do permit holographic wills require the document meet specific requirements to be valid.

Additional questions you may be interested in asking an attorney as you develop your estate plan:

  • What happens if a beneficiary bequeaths property and owes money to the state?
  • If all your liquid assets are Payable on Death (POD) how will debts, burial expenses, taxes, etc. be paid?


**This information does not constitute legal or medical advice, please consult with your legal advisor or medical professional for expert advice.**

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