Many people believe that estate planning is something that someone at or approaching retirement age should be doing. This way of thinking, though, could be a serious problem for many California couples. In fact, estate planning and the creation of wills are something that should begin almost as soon as the wedding vows are shared.
One of the first pieces of the estate planning process includes the couple’s individual wills. Each individual should create of list of all assets and decide exactly how these assets should be distributed if the worst should happen. An important part of this process is naming beneficiaries, especially if there are specific items that should go to someone other than the current spouse. Once this is done, each one will want to meet with an estate planning attorney to formally draft the will.
If children are involved, or once they do become involved, another important consideration is naming a guardian for them. This is important just in case the worst happens and the parents are no longer able to care for the children. By naming a guardian, the extended family already knows who should take care of the children and the confusion during an already difficult time will be minimized.
Estate planning is not a one-time thing for most California couples. Situations and circumstances change over time. Additionally, families and relationships change over time. For this reason, it is important that each individual reviews the individual wills and other estate planning documents at least every five years.
Source: businessinsider.com, “12 things successful married couples do with their money“, Emmie Martin, Nov. 10, 2016