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Estate Planning Archives

How can I avoid common estate planning mistakes?

If you’re currently creating an estate plan in California, you know that attention to detail is of the utmost importance. This entails being aware of common mistakes and knowing how to avoid them, which will help you design a solid and legally binding plan. Kiplinger provides insight into the following mistakes so you can be sure they’re not an issue within your estate plan.

Personal injury settlements and estate plans

We have covered some of the reasons why people make changes to their estate plan, such as bringing their marriage to an end. However, there are many more instances in which a person may need to take a second look at their estate. For example, someone who receives a personal injury settlement may need to change the way in which their property will be distributed and factor in their newfound assets. Moreover, some people decide to set up an estate plan for the first time as a direct result of a personal injury settlement.

Addressing a dispute involving beneficiaries

Estate planning and the distribution of one's estate after they pass away can be challenging for many reasons, from strong emotions to confusion with respect to the process in general, taxes or certain laws. However, disputes may arise over a number of issues, especially when it comes to the distribution of the assets of an estate. When these disagreements involve family members, such as siblings, they can be especially contentious. Whether you want to address hard feelings that have arisen after you discussed your plans, or your loved one has passed away and a dispute has surfaced, it is crucial to handle these matters appropriately.

Setting up an estate plan after a divorce

For some people, bringing an unhealthy marriage to an end represents a fresh start, or a second chance at happiness. There are different ways in which people change their lives in the wake of a divorce, whether they are able to enjoy activities that were impossible or challenging to participate in during their marriage or they find a sense of freedom and have the energy to pursue new interests.

Including stepchildren in your estate plan

When it comes to estate planning, it is important to keep in mind that each family is unique and the details surrounding a will or trust vary from one to the next. For example, some people may not have any children, while others have several children or stepchildren. If you have stepchildren and wish to include them in your estate plan, it is important to keep related legal factors in mind as you create or revise your trust or will. For example, whether you have adopted your stepchildren or not could affect your estate plan.

Talking to loved ones about your estate plan

Our law firm recognizes that estate plans can be challenging for a multitude of reasons. In fact, simply deciding which type of estate plan is best, such as a will or a trust, can be difficult. However, there are far more emotional and stressful issues you may be facing. For example, you could be unsure of how to divide your estate among your loved ones after you pass away. Or, you could be worried that your decisions will create a rift in the family or leave some beneficiaries very upset. With that said, it is important to make sure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

Protect your heirs with a spendthrift trust

People in California who have a large estate need to think about what may happen to their wealth upon death. Even though you may have named beneficiaries, you need to ask whether they are responsible individuals. Too many times, those who receive a lot of money from a trust do not know how to spend it wisely, and it can disappear very quickly. If this may be the case in your situation, consider setting up a spendthrift trust to protect your heirs and your wealth.

Keeping your spouse in your will after divorce

With divorce, each couple's case is unique. Sometimes, the experience can be very difficult for both parties and leave each spouse with a considerable amount of bitterness. However, the end of marriage is not always very difficult, and some couples are able to remain friends after they have separated. Often, people make changes to their estate plan once they split up with their partner, such as removing them from a will or making changes to who is listed as a beneficiary and what they will receive. However, some people decide to keep their spouse in their will following a divorce.

Are holographic wills accepted in California?

People have a wide range of questions when it comes to estate planning, whether they are unsure of which type of trust to set up or are having difficulty naming an executor. However, some are unsure if certain facets of estate planning are even recognized in California, such as holographic wills. If you have any questions regarding your estate, it is essential to find answers while thinking about which options are best given your circumstances.

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