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Life changes may require estate planning update in California

Life is constantly in flux and is always changing. Therefore, people are always adjusting and adapting to their particular situations in California. This also means one's estate planning strategy may require changing and adjusting occasionally in order to adapt to significant life changes.

One common life change that requires re-examination of one's estate plan is a change in marital status. Without a solid estate plan, it may be possible that one's spouse will not be considered the sole beneficiary for one's estate despite this being a person's intention. Also, remarriage can also affect whether or not intended beneficiaries will be able to obtain their fair share of assets. Some may not want their former spouses to receive any assets, while others may want to preserve the share of assets to be inherited by former spouses.

The birth of a child is also another important life change that should be considered when updating an estate plan. Not only should one ensure intended assets will go to his or her children, it is important to ensure that the children will be cared for by intended guardians in the case of something unexpected occurring. If one fails to do this, it could result in one's children being cared for by guardians that one would not have found acceptable.

However, it is important to put one's significant life changes in the proper and current legal context. Many times estate planning laws change in California. This means it is important to make estate planning decisions based upon the latest relevant laws. Therefore, even if one does not experience a significant change in one's individual circumstances, changes in the law can also prompt the need for an estate plan update.

Source: The Huffington Post, "9 Life Changes That Require An Estate Plan Review", Steve Cook, August 17, 2015

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