If you become incapacitated or pass away, the way to manage and care for your estate will be through Estate Planning. It will help minimize taxes and costs, reduce taxes on gift, preserve the estate, generational planning, and probate court costs. If you are incapacitated, your estate planning should include medical and financial decisions from an agent you have chosen to carry out your wishes. You will also need to have a plan on how you want your estate distributed and also consider the circumstances and needs of your beneficiaries.

In life, things change with our needs and circumstances. Especially when certain life changes occur, so too must your estate planning. These could be a death of a loved one, marriage, birth of a child, divorce, increase or loss of assets, and moving to another state or country.

Marriage: When a couple plans to get married, it’s common that estate planning would be on the low priority of things to do. People would update their emergency contacts and add their spouse to your existing health and other insurance policies. Marriage is actually an important time to get your estate plan in order. In the event of some accidental death, your estate could possibly not go to your spouse automatically, including if you have children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement or you have joint ownership with someone such as a business partner or family member. To be sure and to keep things protected for you and your spouse, an estate plan would need to be created or reviewed with your attorney.

 Birth or adoption of children or grandchildren: Many parents have claimed that life will absolutely change when a new baby arrives, an adoption of a child or having grandchildren. As new life comes in and changes your life, your estate plan would also need changes. For example, depending on how your estate plan is written, make sure to check it if you have your child is a beneficiary. As your child get older, so does their personality, needs, and attitude. So, what you have planned before seemed like a good idea back then, but now it is possible to consider it as no longer valid. You have the choice to revise your trust on how you want your assets to be distributed to your child, in a way that you deem proper as they grow.

Divorce: Divorce can be an exhausting and a difficult process because it will cause changes in your life that may keep you out of your comfort zone. After a divorce, it would be smart to update all your beneficiary designations on all insurance policies, savings, and retirement accounts and any powers of attorney. Let us not forget, to also update your wills and trusts to make sure your wishes are carried out properly, whether you want your former spouse to be in your estate plan or not.

The death of a loved one: Unfortunate situations happen and sometimes people die prematurely. If your appointed guardian of your children in your estate plan dies, it is of vital importance to designate a new person. This will also include your chosen executor, your health care proxy, and/or your power of attorney of your estate plan.

A significant change in assets: We will have changes in life, that could be a salary increase, an inheritance, or a big purchase making your estate bigger than it was. This also calls for a revision of your estate plan. As your estate gets bigger, more issues can arise and this is an important reason to update your estate planning with your attorney.

 A move to a new state or country: Moving to another state will have new legal requirements and for most individuals, it would be proper to obtain a new set of estate planning documents. For Americans that live outside the US or have assets in different countries are more complicated and requires experienced professionals. Before making any moves of moving out or having assets in different places, it would be a good idea to learn how you can protect your assets. We can help you strategize your move, get your estate plan in order, if needed, refer an estate planning attorney in your new location and have a peace of mind that you and your family are properly protected.

We service in Estate Planning, Elder Law, and Probate matters. We are located in Claremont Village, CA. We service most cities in LA county, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Orange County. Please call us for a FREE consultation over the phone or face to face. We strive to create value and a meaningful experience for all our clients. We know this is your LIFE and your LEGACY.

Please call (909) 256-6702 to discuss your questions and schedule a free consultation:
Trust and Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration and Probate in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties. We offer flat, hourly and contingent fees, based on the type of matter.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Trust and Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration and Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont and assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.