An adult in the United States who is part of the small percentage of people with valid wills may believe that he or she has done everything necessary to secure the future for his or her heirs. Creating an estate plan is viewed as the ultimate way to address asset distribution and record your final wishes for those you leave behind. Unfortunately, creating a will and then forgetting about it can be dangerous even if your will was very recently created. Being aware of why your new estate plan may need an update helps you protect your assets for your heirs and saves those closest to you from unnecessary stress or litigation so that they can focus on mourning and coping.
Changes in tax laws can dramatically impact even the most modest estate. Even though new tax laws that affect estate taxes primarily impact those with high net worth, it is important to note that estate exemption was only $600,000 two decades ago. Estate tax and other laws that impact inheritance play a crucial role in estate planning trends. Certain options that were not affordable or feasible for you in the past may now suddenly be a better fit than your current estate plan even if that plan is relatively new.
Minor Life Changes with Large Impacts
There are certain changes in life that, while being monumental on a personal scale, are a very normal part of life. Each year couples move, purchasing new homes, have or adopt children, and get legally married or divorced. In the rush to prepare for or finalize these life changes, wills are often overlooked. A person who is pregnant or finalizing an adoption may think to create an estate plan, but a few months later when the infant or child is home, that person might forget to update his or her plan to specifically name the child as a beneficiary. Failing to name a child or spouse in an estate plan could cause unnecessary complications in the future, and if you put off updating your will when these changes happen, chances are that you will forget.
Not every happy life event ends the way we imagine or expect. An eagerly anticipated child may be lost in the final trimester or a long engagement may be suddenly called off. When this happens, revising a will that was made specifically to address the life change is unpleasant or even painful. Adults often make the choice to ignore the situation and never update their wills because they cannot face remembering the events that led to the current version of their estate plan no longer being valid or needed. Ignoring the importance of updating a will that is only a few months old after a major change occurs could cause serious problems for your potential heirs.
Updating your new will does not have to be time consuming or unpleasant. A qualified estate or probate lawyer can handle all of the difficult and stressful parts for you. The attorneys at MMZ Law understand how difficult estate planning can be, especially if you are updating an existing will in response to an unexpected event in your life. Our compassionate team works with you to make the process as smooth as possible while providing you with the legal advice you need. Contact our Claremont, California office today at 909-256-6702 to schedule an initial consultation so that we can begin providing you with the assistance you deserve.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
MMZ LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
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 Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & 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 but assists clients throughout Southern California.
This information is educational information only and not legal advice.