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Keep these special situations in mind when estate planning

No one's family, financial or life situation is the same; therefore, no one's estate plan will be the same. For this reason, Orange County estate planning attorneys need to consider all of the unique circumstances faced by their clients when deciding what kind of estate plan is appropriate for them. Here are a few special situations you might want to include in your plan.

For California residents in the midst of a divorce, estate planning updates should be part of the divorce. For example, do you need to draw up a new will? Do you need to adjust your beneficiary forms on your insurance, retirement and financial account papers?

In addition to divorce concerns, you will want to consider unforeseen accidents or health events that could render you incapacitated and unable to care for yourself and/or make decisions for yourself. Power of attorney documentation included in your estate documents addresses this problem by assigning a trusted person to make decisions for you in the event of your incapacitation.

How about your furry little friends? Don't forget to include a plan for someone to care for your pet after you are gone. You can even create a special pet trust to fund pet expenses, which will make life easier for the trusted person you leave your pets to.

Finally, if you are single or have a live-in partner, you will want to decide who you want to inherit your assets and include that in your will. Especially if your heirs will not be family members or will include non-family members, be sure to make this clear in your estate plan.

A California estate planning attorney is familiar with all kinds of unique situations and can devise special strategies for dealing with them. Plus, even if you don't know what unique situations you need to address, an attorney will ask the appropriate questions to identify all of your special requirements.

Source: Dummies, "Estate Planning For Dummies," accessed Jan. 27, 2016

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