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Arcadia California Estate Planning And Probate Blog

When it’s time to update estate plans

Life tends to change quickly, as many Californians know. Living in a state that has both wildfires and floods, we learn to roll with the punches.

Many people don’t realize that as life changes, so too should an estate plan. Too many think it’s something that you create once and then file away. Instead, an estate plan should be a document that reflects your life. Sometimes it calls for updates.

Why you should consider backup documents

Your wills and trusts contain crucial information towards your asset distribution upon death as well as medical preferences in the later years of your life. However, several circumstances can occur where you could either lose it or not know how to access it. While your attorney often holds onto copies of important legal documents, you might want to consider having some backup ones that you want yourself or someone else to access to in case of an emergency.

Some might prefer limiting the amount so that it can be simple to remember and so it will not be easily discovered by others. However, while you do not have to have multiple estate planning documents you can grab anytime, it may be a good idea to have at least a couple available as a backup. Here are a few reasons why:

3 reasons new parents need a will

At the beginning of parenthood, it can feel completely overwhelming. There's a lot to take in and the responsibilities seem endless.

With the chaos and excitement that comes with a new baby, it's easy to ignore something like your estate plan. After all, there are diapers to change and feedings to finish. Unfortunately, life doesn't pause and neither should your estate plan. Here are three reasons new parents need a will:

Things to change in your estate plan during a divorce

Divorce is a difficult process and can drag on longer than most would like.

Because of the uncertain nature of divorce, it can be prudent to make changes to your estate plan while it's ongoing. You cannot write your soon-to-be ex-spouse out of your will but there are important issues you can address, such as:

Avoid these common mistakes in your estate plan

Estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to. It can be difficult to know where to start, which may explain why so many put it off.

However, even those who don't procrastinate with their estate planning can still make some pretty serious mistakes. It's important to avoid these gaffes when writing your estate plan:

What is a living trust and do you need one?

If you are thinking about creating an estate plan, you may know that you need to prepare a will. But do you know other aspects of estate planning, such as a living trust? You may believe that a trust is something just for famous people, however, that is not true. Your circumstances may prove that the best option for your family is to have a living trust. If you are not aware of the difference between a will and a living trust, here is a breakdown. 

Elements of a California living trust

You are reaching retirement age, and you know which of your loved ones you want receiving your acquired assets. Perhaps you want to hand down your family business to your son, you want to gift your expensive, collectible car to your daughter, and you want to leave substantial assets to your grandchildren when you pass away. You want to have the authority to manage these assets while you are still alive and make alterations if necessary.

In California, a living trust exists to provide you peace of mind in knowing who will receive your property when you pass away. A living trust allows you to determine specific assets and place them in a secure trust, so that your beneficiaries can receive your generous gifts quickly after you pass away. To ensure that a living trust is the best trust document for your unique situation, you may wish to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. He or she will hold the expertise in helping you file all necessary documents for a legal living trust and aid you in updating your trust as your beneficiaries and assets change.