Previous blog posts discussed how the wills left behind by famous figures such as Whitney Houston and Thomas Kinkade will likely go through a lengthy and expensive probate court that could have been avoided if they had updated their estate planning documents after life changing events. A recent Forbes article lists 5 Life Event Changes That Require An Estate Planning Review:
1. Getting married. Update your living trust and other estate planning documents to make provisions for your spouse, address separate and community property, and form a prenuptial agreement if you or your spouse comes with a significant amount of assets.
2. Divorce or death of a spouse. Review your beneficiaries, trustees, and Power of Attorney.
3. Purchasing or refinancing a home. Your house and all your properties should be held in your trust. When buying a property, take the title in the name of the trust. Ensure that a property is put back into the trust if it is taken out by lenders due to refinancing.
4. New accounts. Put all savings accounts, brokerage accounts, and mutual fund accounts in the name of your trust. Assets put into an account that is under your name only (and not in your name as trustee of your living trust) could go through probate.
5. Children changes. Review your estate planning documents for any updates on guardianship and inheritance provisions.
Stay tuned later this year for some suggestions from Kaiser Law Group on how you can ensure your estate plan remains fresh and up-to-date.
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