It is no secret many American households struggle with debt and bankruptcy. The number of bankruptcy filings in 2005 hit a record high when an estimated one in every 55 households opted for bankruptcy.
Despite its importance, many American adults do not have a will. In fact, a survey conducted in 2015 by USA Today showed that 64 percent of American adults lack a last will and testament.
Once you create a will or any other end-of-life document, you may think you are set until your passing. However, your circumstances and wishes often change over the years, and your will needs to reflect your current situation.
Whatever age you are, it is likely a good time to start estate planning if you have not already. For example, suppose you are 30 years old, married and have one child. You may not yet have significant assets, but you do have that spouse and child. What happens to the child if both parents die? Estate planning helps you answer that difficult question and many others.
If you are drowning in overwhelming debt and dealing with harassing calls from creditors, bankruptcy may be a valuable option to give you a fresh financial start. Debt is not always about being irresponsible. You cannot control when you lose your job, when you get sick or injured enough to collect high medical bills or when the cost of living rises more than you expect.
California’s population is aging, and there will likely come a time that either you or one of your parents will benefit from a durable power of attorney. Essentially, this type of legal document allows either you or your parent to name someone who will act as an agent on your behalf in the event that you are no longer able to make your own decisions.