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How to Avoid Unintentionally Disinheriting Your Children

There are certain times when parents do think about disinheriting their unruly children, but it is extremely rare that a parent ever does so intentionally. However, that doesn't mean that sometimes children are unintentionally disinherited. How could that happen?

If a person is divorced with children and subsequently remarries, they can unintentionally disinherit their children if there is no estate plan detailing how their assets are to be distributed. Under California intestacy law, a second spouse is entitled to half of the deceased spouse's estate, with the remainder to be shared equally among surviving children. So if your intention is to leave your entire estate to your children, you cannot do so without the proper legal documentation.

If you wish to provide for a new spouse as well as your children, your estate planning attorney can advise you on several options to accomplish this. It could be as simple as purchasing an additional life insurance policy.

Retirement and investment assets pass to whomever is listed on the beneficiary designation forms for these accounts, so it is critical that these forms are kept up to date. Beneficiary designations always trump a will or state intestacy laws.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.

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