It is an unfortunate reality that Temecula Estate Planning attorneys often do not hear from individuals or families until they are confronted with very difficult circumstances that could have been avoided through the implementation of the appropriate estate planning techniques.
The do-it-yourself estate planning downloads and worksheets that you can buy online are a major part of the problem. People tend to put the matter of estate planning on the back burner, and when they finally decide to act, they look for a so-called “easy answer.” Unfortunately, when people act without the appropriate legal assistance, things are not always so easy on the survivors that they leave behind.
The matter of estate planning can seem to be a simple one on the surface, and this makes the DIY option sound quite feasible. You list your property, you name beneficiaries to inherit it, and that is the end of the story. In fact, this is actually a gross oversimplification. There are many subtleties that the typical layperson simply may not think about, and one of them is the importance of alternate beneficiaries.
When you are creating your inheritance list, you will probably go forward with certain expectations concerning the anticipated longevity of your heirs. This makes sense, but no one has a crystal ball. It is quite possible that a beneficiary, or multiple beneficiaries, could predecease you, even if they are younger than you are. To account for this, when you are planning your estate, you can name alternate or contingent beneficiaries who would be next in line.
It is wise to add alternate beneficiaries when you are originally drawing up your estate plan, but you should understand the fact that your initial plan is not set in stone. You have the right to revise your estate plan at any time, so you can amend your plan to add a contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries after the fact. Plus, even if you don’t have any specific changes in mind that you know you have to make, Temecula Estate Planning attorneys may recommend regular estate plan reviews every couple of years, because life circumstances can and do change. Things within your own life can evolve, and changes to relevant laws can also necessitate estate plan updates.
When you discuss important matters like beneficiary designations with an estate planning attorney, you are entering into some personal and sensitive areas. We are well aware of this dynamic, and we do everything possible to make our clients feel at ease from the outset. If you would like to discuss alternate beneficiaries or any other matter with one of our Temecula Estate Planning attorneys, now is the time to take action. At the present time, we are offering free consultations to people in our area who mention this article. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (800) 244-8814.