Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year!

I first had the opportunity to celebrate Lunar New Year when I was in elementary school.  Our school went all out with a parade featuring a large flowy kite-like Dragon, a Lion Dance Performance, and the sharing of tasting treats.  Oh, was it ever FUN.  I especially enjoyed the delectable Tang Yuan, sweet sticky rice balls. (Here’s a YouTube tutorial on how to make Tang Yuan)

Celebrating Lunar New Year is beautiful tradition that includes bringing family and friends together to share delicious meals and great conversations.  This year, my family will celebrate by making homemade fortune cookies with personalized messages and we’ll be following this YouTube instructional video.  It will be a time to chat and get caught up. To learn about Luna New Year, visit and to find out about the San Francisco events surrounding this celebration, including information on the parade visit  

Estate Planning is ripe for discussion amongst family, but seldom broached.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to sit at the dining table, share some great laughs and deep conversations? it’s worth having a conversation with your loved ones about essential estate planning basics: Health Care Directives, Durable Power of Attorney, Trusts & Wills, Nomination of Guardians, if there are minor children, review of beneficiary forms with banks and financial institutions, and a Home Administration Binder.

It’s essential to have estate planning in place especially if there is an emergency or a period of incapacity.  If something happened to you or your loved one, who would manage things?  Assuming there has been a conversation, how would that person begin the process of managing your affairs, both personal and financial? 

An estate plan is so much more than just the basic documents.  That said, today, we will share the basic Estate Planning Checklist:

Wills & Trusts 

One of the main distinctions between a will and a trust is that a will usually goes through a process called probate and a trust usually does not. A trust is designed to keep your estate out of probate. A trust spells out who will inherit and it specifies how assets will be transferred to the beneficiary. A revocable trust is a living document and can be changed during the lifetime of the person who created it.

Power of Attorney 

A health care directive is a type of power of attorney that allows you to designate a person to make health care decisions on your behalf in case you cannot. 

A durable power of attorney for finances enables you to designate who will manage your finances. Sometimes it is recommended to appoint two people other times it makes sense to only have one person. It is also worth considering whether the durable power of attorney takes effect at signing or whether to have a “springing power” that takes effect if you are incapacitated. 

Nomination of Guardian for Minor Children

If you or a loved one has a minor child, it behooves you to nominate a guardian in case of an unexpected event.  In California, an appointment of a guardian must meet the Best Interest of the Child standard.  It’s important for a parent to not only nominate a guardian, but to also have a plan for who will look after the minor child in the short term as well as in the long term.  Without a proper plan in place, if an unfortunate event takes place, social services may need to find a someone to care for your minor children until a plan for their care is established. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top