“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” is an old John Lennon quote and one that many people can relate to. There are many life events that take place – both happy and sad – that can have a significant impact on your life the way you know it, not only personally but also financially.
When these events take place, there are certain things that may need to be readdressed. One of these is your estate plan. The following are some common life events that could necessitate changes to the plans you have put in place for your family’s future. A Sacramento, CA estate planning attorney can help.
Marriage and Divorce
A change in your marital status – whether you go from single to married, married to divorced, or divorced to remarried – is an important time to pick up the phone and contact your attorney to update your estate plan. This is especially important in cases of divorce or remarriage.
Once you are divorced, you will want to make sure your ex’s name is removed as a beneficiary from everything (unless there are certain stipulations in your divorce decree that prohibit you from doing so). This can include life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial accounts. A divorce decree does not negate your ex listed as a beneficiary. There have been many tragic cases where a person failed to make the change and when they died, their ex received the funds, not their current spouse.
Remarriages often involve blended families so establishing a solid estate plan that protects your children can be complex. This is why you should always consult with a Sacramento, CA estate planning attorney.
Birth and Adoption
Welcoming a new child to the family is one of the most glorious experiences parents have. But along with all that happiness, it is also important to consider what would happen to your child if you were no longer here to care for them. If something should happen to you and your spouse, you want to ensure that the party or parties you would want to raise your child are named their legal guardian. Without legal documentation in place, there is no guarantee this would happen. In some situations, your child could even end up in foster care.
If you are divorced from your child’s other parent, you also want to make sure that whatever financial security you leave for your child is protected. If you are concerned your ex would use these funds for other purposes if they had access to them, an attorney can help set up a trust for your child and even name the person you choose as trustee.
Tax Law Changes
Although not all changes in federal or state tax laws warrant an update or change to your estate plan, there are some instances where a change in the law can have significant tax implications on your estate.
Since it is hard to keep track of all these changes, having your attorney review your estate plan on a regular basis can ensure that your estate plan is benefitting from any tax advantages and that you and your heir will be protected in the event of tax laws that could be detrimental.
Call Our Office Today
If you have experienced any life events, especially if it has been some time since you put your estate plan in place, contact Yee Law Group PC to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Sacramento, CA estate planning attorney, and let us help make sure your family’s future is protected.