Newman Law Group

Need to update wills cannot be overstated

Another high-profile death has occurred and may serve as an alert to the public for not only the need for an estate plan in California, but also the need to keep such a plan current. Failure to update wills and other documents can have unintended consequences. John Singleton, a film director best known for directing the movie "Boyz n the Hood" died recently due to complications following a stroke. He was only 51.

Mr. Singleton had created a will in 1993. At the time, he had one child, a daughter named Justice. The will specified that his entire estate go to Justice in the event of his death. Since 1993, he had fathered six additional children but failed to update his will to include them.

The director had recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica when he was hospitalized for high blood pressure. He suffered a stroke and was placed on life support but was removed from support a few days later. The director is survived by his parents and seven children. Though the will does not specify bequests to the six younger children, they can contest the will in court and argue to be included.

Mr. Singleton most likely would not have wished to put his children in the position of a legal battle over his estate, and it is a battle that could have been avoided by updating his estate plan as his family grew. No one knows the number of one's days here on earth. Creating and maintaining comprehensive wills and other documents can help provide for loved ones in California in the event of one's untimely passing. An attorney experienced in estate planning law can assist one to ensure that all one's final wishes are covered.

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