Considering how many people die with no will at all, it may seem silly to have to update your once you create it. After all, aren't you already ahead of the game by having a will in the first place? Well, yes — but that is sort of like claiming that you already changed the oil in your car, why would you need to change it again? While one should certainly change the oil in a vehicle far more often than change or update a will, the principle remains the same. There are a number of life changes that make a will change necessary and ultimately protect the ones you love.
Once you've crafted a will, there a number of instances in which you might need to consider updating it to ensure its efficiency and to account for circumstantial changes for those involved. It is common to update a will if you yourself experience a great change in your own life circumstances, such as a marriage, divorce or the gain or loss of a significant asset. However, it is also wise to consider changing a will when one of your beneficiaries undergoes a significant life change.
Estate planning is generally intended to ensure your assets get distributed to your heirs in the way you want them to be. All too often, despite the best efforts of a person to create a last will and estate plan, their family members don't agree. People will happily fight their family members in court if they believe they will get even a little bit more of the estate.
Even when an estate plan is carefully crafted and a will is well-made, there are numerous ways that various parties can make the settlement of an estate difficult and complicated. If you are approaching an estate settlement and want to avoid as much conflict as possible, or if you are already embroiled in a contentious settlement, it is wise to consider ways that you can help simplify matters and de-escalate tensions.
Now that you and your wife have started a family, it is especially important that you begin to think about their future. Beyond planning for your baby daughter's college, you should take steps to protect her interests in case the worst should happen to you and your wife. You may feel like you have plenty of time before you need to worry about end-of-life decisions, but in reality, it is never too early to start planning.
There are a number of legitimate reasons that one or several people may want to challenge a will, and each comes with its own set of hurdles to clear. In general, challenging a will is not a simple matter and is not to be undertaken casually. Almost all wills end up passing through probate just fine, with only about 1 percent being challenged. However, if you believe that a certain person's will is invalid, there are grounds on which it can be challenged. One of the most common grounds for challenging a will is bringing into question the testator's ability to have written the will.
One of the most important aspects of creating a will is making your end-of-life wishes known and preparing for the worst before you are legally barred from making some decisions. Whether you are creating a will for the first time, or simply updating an extant will, you should make sure that you have clearly conveyed your wishes and assigned any necessary privileges while you still can.
You'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who enjoys the thought of drafting a last will and testament, as contemplating one's own mortality is hardly pleasant. Still, doing so will not only ensure that your heirs receive what you want them to get from your estate after your death, but it should also give you some peace of mind.
Let's face it. Estate planning is rarely a favorite topic of discussion. It deals with death and money, and most people would rather wait until later. This attitude leads to some common misconceptions and myths when it comes to planning for the future, including after you pass away.
Recently, we explored the issue of dealing with a lost will, which can be most easily remedied by drafting a new one. However, there are many reasons why a person may choose to change one's will. If you find that one or more of these areas applies to you, you may want to consider making this important update in California.