Estate Plan May Need To Be Updated Over Time

On behalf of Louis Pacella, Attorney at Law posted in Wills on Friday, April 26, 2013

Many people in Southern California have yet to establish a will or trust to make plans for their finances after they pass away. Others have already done so. While their estate planning may be sufficient, for some people their plans omit important considerations. In other cases, the plan may be out of date with current tax laws and family circumstances.

For example, what if you have divorced and gotten remarried since you set up your will or trust? The documents may name your previous spouse as beneficiary and not mention your current husband or wife. Also, any children you have had since writing your will may be excluded from inheriting anything unless you specifically name them, or at least the distribution may not go the way you would prefer.

In addition, your estate plan may not take into consideration a medical catastrophe that would leave you unable to make important financial and health decisions. Readers should consider a living will, which is a document directing family and doctors about how far they should go with life-saving measures and when to “pull the plug.” In addition, a good estate plan may include durable powers of attorney for handling your finances and your health care decisions.

Probate laws change over time and a years-old estate plan may need a fresh look to avoid unnecessary complications and estate taxes. A Los Angeles estate planning attorney would be able to review your estate plan for signs of things to be updated, amended or removed.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Updated estate plan can ease burden on heirs,” Benny L. Kass, April 26, 2013