Is Your Estate Plan Up To Date?

In this day and age, we are all caught up with our daily cares. We have children, family, spouses, work, exercise, health, Facebook, vacation and many other things to fill our every waking moment. Information and technology have become our best friends, as well as our greatest foes. It is easy for us to find plenty of excuses to justify our lack of attention to those matters that MUST be done, but are not.

Estate plans often get placed on the back burner. An estate plan can be as simple as the execution of a holographic will or as complex as multiple trusts, each serving a different purpose. Both types of estate plans have their positive aspects and negative aspects. Doing nothing also a choice. It could be considered a "plan" that gives others control of your estate, not you.

If you have already created an estate plan, it is crucial that you regularly review the major aspects of your trust. From year to year, tax laws change, people change, assets change, charities change, state laws change. Any of these changes can significantly impact the execution of your documents. It is imperative to reconsider who you designate as your successor trustee(s), your beneficiaries, the guardian of your minor child(ren), how your gifts are distributed, and who will have your power of attorney. Be sure to address any new issues, such as substance abuse, developmental disability, or insolvency of your beneficiaries.

An estate plan, specifically a living trust, is a valuable tool used to administer your estate in the event of your incapacity or death. This tool is most effective when it correctly and accurately reflects your wishes. Take a few minutes to review the terms of your trust and make sure that it does this. Call your attorney if you have any questions.

Matthew Yu is an attorney of the Law Office of Matthew C. Yu, located in Torrance,
California. His practice emphasizes probate, conservatorships and living trusts. Matthew's clients include businesses, families and individuals throughout Southern California. He can be reached at (310) 986-2364 or by email.