Frequently Asked Questions
Wills, Trusts & Advanced Planning Documents
Once in place, your estate planning documents may need to be reviewed every three to five years.
If there are further financial changes in your life since your last review,
contact an attorney to guide you through the necessary steps.
If I get married, remarried or divorced...
It is recommended that you revisit your will and trust documents to make sure they reflect your current wishes, your current legal name and that they include the names of your heirs. If someone named in your documents has had a legal name change, you will need to make a change to the existing documents as well.
In addition, when children become adults they should have an Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD) and a Power of Attorney in place. As financial or marital status changes happen in their lives, and depending on the total amount of assets they have, creating an estate plan protects those assets.
If I purchased a property...
It is very important to verify that your assets, including any real property, are properly titled in the name of your living trust. Contact your estate planning attorney to alert them to the purchase and update your documents.
If you still are unsure or if your situation is more specific, call your attorney for a document review.
If my health status changes...
If you have the need to be hospitalized, you are often asked for your Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD). Your estate plan includes that document. You should keep a hard copy or an electronic copy (PDF) of the AHCD to give to medical personnel when requested. And, just like a change in marital status, It is recommended that if you have been ill or hospitalized and under a doctor's care, that you revisit your current estate plan documents in order to make sure they reflect your current wishes.
If a death occurs, documents will need to be changed to reflect the current status of each person named in the estate planning documents, including bank account name changes. Check with your attorney and your banking institution to be sure you are up-to-date.
Without an estate plan in place, yours or your loved one's assets will be subject to probate.
If I have a will that I created on my own...
A handwritten will (also called a holographic will) is a valid will in California, however some states do not recognize handwritten wills as valid. If you have had significant changes happen in your life it may be time to have your will reviewed by an attorney. There may be changes in tax law that could be beneficial to you.
If you have a will, a trust and advanced planning documents, you should review them with your attorney every three to five years. If you do not have an estate plan, call Rodnunsky & Associates to help with all your planning needs.