When was the last time you updated your estate planning documents?

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When was the last time you updated your estate planning documents?

Life is not a static set of circumstances; loved ones, family, friends and even spouses can come and go. Accordingly, priorities and circumstances are apt to change and evolve several times over the span of an individual's life in California.

It is for this reason that in most instances, estate planning is not the type of process that an individual in Los Angeles can undertake one time and then forever check off of his or her to-do list thereafter. It is important that estate planning documents are at least periodically revisited with legal assistance, but definitely revisited after major life events like the birth of a child, a divorce or a marriage.

We have discussed on numerous occasions how a large population of individuals in California will remarry after a divorce. It is important to revise estate planning documents because as one financial planner warns, “It’s not uncommon to find the ex-spouse still listed as a beneficiary.”

An estate planning attorney can advise a client on how to modify estate planning documents to reflect all of life’s major events. This can include:

  • Naming a guardian in a testamentary will after the birth of a child
  • Planning for the financial protection of a child with special needs
  • Planning for long-term care after a divorce
  • Establishing a Qtip trust after remarrying
  • Establishing an asset protection trust to protect property from divorce

These options are just the tip of the iceberg. An experienced estate planning attorney can tailor the process exactly to an individual’s needs to ensure that the individual’s interests and family will be protected.

Source: Fox Business, “Naming Life Insurance Beneficiaries: 10 Ways to Screw up,” Barbara Marquand, May 22, 2013

Categories: Estate Planning
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