People are busy with their daily lives, worrying about work and earning a living. This is why many California residents simply never get around to doing any estate planning. Even when people do complete estate plans, many times they fail to update their estate plans regularly. This can cause significant problems for intended beneficiaries in the future.
After creating estate plans, many people fail to account for major life changes that they would want reflected in their estate-planning strategies. This is understandable since many people do not even think about updating their estate plans more than once every five years or so. Therefore, it is common for many individuals to forget to adjust their estate plans to account for divorce or remarriage. Some may even wish to disinherit a son or daughter but fail to update their estate plans to implement such desires.
When a person neglects to factor these major life changes into his or her estate plan, it can leave the person's assets up for grabs. Often a legal battle will ensue, which can quickly drain the estate of the assets one wants to go to intended beneficiaries. Many times it may be useful to put all estate assets into a trust. This can potentially help to shield assets and loved ones from a prolonged probate process.
However, no estate planning strategy is right for everybody in California. It is important to take into consideration the circumstances that are unique to a person's situation and estate-planning goals. Therefore, a customized estate plan made to fit one's individual needs is generally the best option.
Source: thestreet.com, "5 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Make", Jason Notte, July 13, 2015