For people currently creating their estate plans in California, taking a comprehensive view is key to ensuring your property and assets remain protected. Unfortunately, there are a few considerations that often slip through the cracks when drafting a will, which can result in your decisions being contested. Forbes provides insight into some of these overlooked factors so you can rest assured of a valid and legally binding plan that accurately reflects your final wishes.
Prenuptial & Other Marital Agreements
Prenuptial agreements can actually have an impact after you die. For example, a former spouse may attempt to use clauses in a prenuptial or community property agreements as proof that he or she is owed a portion of your estate. In this case, it’s best to have such agreements legally terminated to ensure your estate plan is contested unexpectedly.
Other people from your past may also attempt to contest your will. This is usually a concern for people on second or third marriages, who will likely have children from those previous unions. These children may lay claim to any assets you possess, which is why you must disclose their existence to your attorney. Protections may need to be written into your will accordingly, which will prevent stress down the line.
It’s common for married couples to name guardians for minor children in their will. If you choose someone outside your immediate family (such as beloved friends), your relatives may react negatively and attempt to block the decision. Additionally, if you don’t name a guardian the court will do so for you, which can be heartbreaking for all involved. No matter your decision, taking a thoughtful approach to the process is essential for the best results.