For many successful people in California, passing on a legacy to their family members and loved ones is an important goal. However, there are many pieces to a complete estate plan, especially when significant assets are involved. By planning for the future, people can help to avoid family conflicts and work to ensure that their assets are used in the way they envision. While many people want to avoid discussions about death, these conversations can provide an important framework that improve peace of mind for everyone involved.
Even people who have already drafted wills, trusts and other estate documents should take care to revisit their plans on a regular basis. A check-in after several years can help people highlight potential problems due to changes in the law or in their family situations. For example, people may leave in place bequests that persist even after the recipient has passed away or after a divorce or other estrangement. In addition, tax laws change on a regular basis, and reviewing and updating an estate plan to reflect them can help people to save their family members substantial sums.
People should also pay attention to some types of assets that may fall outside the scope of traditional estate documents. For example, people may intend to pass on their international holdings through their will, but that document may not be valid in the country where the property is based. Instead, they can work to ensure that the proper documents exist in the relevant countries.
People often are driven to develop their wealth in order to leave a legacy to their loved ones. By working with an estate planning attorney, they can develop wills, trusts, powers of attorney and other documents as part of a comprehensive plan that reflects their vision for the future of their assets.