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3 Estate Planning Resolutions for the New Year

With another year behind you, it is a great time to review your estate plan. If you do not have an estate plan, it’s a great time to start one. Here are three estate planning resolutions you should consider for 2019:

Estate Planning Resolution #1: Have the Talk

There is no easy time to bring up estate planning with your partner or children. Estate planning gets a bad reputation for being associated with death, however it does not need to be a dark subject. There is much more to estate planning than what happens to your assets after you pass away. Your estate plan could include important information about child custody, medical decisions in the event of incapacitation or the future of your home or business.

You could bring it up this way: an estate plan protects your family and intentions. Discussing an estate plan as a family gives everyone a chance to speak about their intentions and understand their role, so no one is caught off-guard in the event of death or an emergency situation.

If you die without an estate plan, then California’s intestate succession laws will govern the division of your property. Any specific wishes you may have had for your family will not legally mean anything and your estate will become a public matter.

Estate Planning Resolution #2: Review Life Events

Did anything big happen in your life during 2018? Reviewing your existing estate plan could give you an idea of anything or anyone you may have left out. In some cases, you may want to amend part of your estate plan. A few examples of events to consider include:

  • Marriage
  • Separation or divorce
  • Birth of a child
  • Death of a loved one
  • Property acquisition or sale

Again, keeping your estate plan updated protects your family and wishes.

Estate Planning Resolution #3: Organize Your Passwords

Technology has become an institution within our everyday lives. Any pictures you save online, online bank accounts, social media profiles or owned web domains are your digital assets. In this day and age, they should have a spot in your estate plan. In the event of death or incapacitation, your loved ones could have a difficult time obtaining your digital information without legal permission and instruction. Start getting organized by writing down your passwords to:

  • Electronic devices
  • E-mail accounts
  • Social network accounts
  • Website accounts
  • Online bank accounts
  • Online bill-payment accounts

Need a Ventura County Estate Planning Attorney?

Our California estate planning attorneys help clients in Oxnard and the surrounding areas of Ventura County with a complete range of trust and estate services. We could help you figure out the best course of action for your estate and create a legally valid plan under California law. Call Lowthorp, Richards, McMillan, Miller & Templeman, APC today at (805) 981-8555 or contact us online for more information.

NOTE: The information contained herein is not intended to be legal advice and the reader should know that no Attorney-Client relationship or privilege is formed by the posting or reading of this article which is also not intended to solicit business.

Cristian R. Arrieta, Lowthorp Richards McMillan Miller & Templeman, A Professional Corporation, 300 E. Esplanade Drive Suite 850, Oxnard, CA 93036