California residents have become increasingly aware of the need to have an estate plan in place. The most recent trend has likely occurred in light of several celebrities passing away without plans, and consequently, leaving their families to deal with a mess in the aftermath.
An issue often overlooked while going through a divorce is the critical impact it may have on an estate plan (i.e. will, trust, and other documents). Here, we’ll focus on the impact that a divorce can have on an existing trust and why it’s important to have your trust reviewed by a licensed California estate planning attorney after you’ve filed for divorce.
We plan for the weekend, we plan for vacations and holidays. We boldly plan for life’s uncertain events with particularity and detail. It’s as if the future is all but promised to us all. While making these types of plans is important, how much more important is it to plan for the certain but unpopular life events with the same amount of vigor? Namely, planning by way of creating a will, establishing a trust, and appointing agents through power of attorney (POA).
How would life look for your children if they were suddenly left without parents? Who would be notified and how might they respond? Would they have the means to love and support your child until adulthood and beyond? As unsettling and difficult as it may be, parents must consider who would raise their children if they are unable to do so.
We get it, estate planning is not the most popular item on your “to-do” list. And for many who get around to doing it, their plan becomes a forgotten relic left to collect dust on the bookcase. Whether you’ve spent thousands for a comprehensive plan or utilized a do-it-yourself option that you found online, it’s critical to update your plan to ensure it works as intended at death or incapacity.
Wills and living trusts are popular terms when discussing options for leaving gifts or an inheritance upon death. While there are similarities between the two, the differences in the way they operate to transfer one’s assets can be profound. There’s no doubt that a valid will can transfer assets, but its limitations make it a far less attractive option for those seeking more protection and control at death or incapacity.