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Summer Plans—Sun, Fun—and an Estate Plan? Yes!

by Norris Law Group on June 5, 2014

update your willAh, summertime! Blue skies, fresh air, plenty of sunshine, and perhaps even a little more free time to enjoy them all with family and friends. Now that you have a little more time this summer, you may want to spend some of it setting up an organized estate plan. While devising a plan to protect your assets in the event of your passing or if you are ever incapacitated at some point may not exactly fit your idea of “summer fun,” for many reasons, a well-thought-out probate plan may be one of the greatest gifts you could ever give your family.

Estate planning may be the furthest thing from your mind, especially if you are young. But keep in mind that we never know what may be right around the corner—case in point: actor and star of the “Fast & Furious” movies Paul Walker, 40 and his friend Roger Rodas, 38, who were killed in a crash on a beautiful Southern California day in November 2013 while leaving a successful charity event.  Both had young children; Paul Walker’s family had to engage in a prolonged court battle with the mother of his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow. Court action was necessary to determine the child’s custody, even though Walker had set up a detailed estate plan prior to his death. While his plan will provide for Meadow’s financial needs for the rest of her life, the custody of the girl was still at issue. On May 28, a California court determined that Meadow will live with her mother, Rebecca Soteros, whom the Walkers fear has a recurrent problem with alcohol. Walker had written in his estate plan that he would prefer that his daughter be put in the care of his mother.

Even the best probate plans may not provide for every eventuality. But a sound estate plan should always include detailed instructions about you would like matters such as your will, living will, and trust(s) to be handled by heirs, loved ones, and/or executors. It is also wise to set up a durable power of attorney and/or health care surrogate(s) in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. You should also keep in mind that wills are considered to be void in the event of the divorce, while other probate and asset protection instruments may not be. A meeting with an attorney experienced in these areas of the law can help answer any questions you may have.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of asset protection, divorce, family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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