Another year is winding down. As the season changes, it is typically a time to review the year almost passed and contemplate the year to come. It is also a good time to take a look at one’s estate assets and review plans that are in place or establish a plan if one is not already in place in California.
Once an estate plan has been created, it is not uncommon for people to view the task as complete and then just leave it alone. But as life goes on, changes will happen. People divorce and remarry, have additional children, experience changes in career and finances and any number of other circumstances that can impact people’s lives. These changes often bring about the need to review estate documents such as wills and trusts.
In addition, beneficiary designations are often neglected at great cost. California is a community property state so marital property is typically split 50/50. A surviving spouse may be able to change beneficiary information on insurance and retirement accounts, but only on the surviving spouse’s half of the community property interest. It is in the best interest of both parties to see that beneficiary information is periodically reviewed so that it is up to date.
The estate assets that are accumulated over a person’s lifetime comprise a large part of the legacy that is left behind after a person passes away in California. Having a comprehensive and up to date plan in place is the best way to ensure that one’s final wishes will be carried out successfully. A discussion with an estate planning professional can provide peace of mind that the necessary measures have been taken.