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Current research shows that only about 25 percent of Americans have a will, and probably less than that have changed their will when certain life circumstances dictate that a change is in order. An Irvine estate planning attorney says there are several common occurrences that can trigger a change to your California will:

Marriage. A will dictates how you want your assets distributed upon your death, and when you marry, you will likely want your spouse to inherit. If you have children from another marriage, you will need to account for their inheritance as well.

Minor Children. A will allows you to name a guardian for your minor children in case you and your spouse die before they come of age.

Middle Age. As we get older, we usually accumulate more assets, which may include valuable antiques, art collections, etc. These assets can be distributed to your heirs via your will, and should be included as they are acquired.

Divorce. If you get a divorce and then die without changing your will, your ex can potentially inherit your assets.

Remarriage. If you remarry, you will need to change your will to include your new spouse as well as dictate the inclusion – or exclusion – of any stepchildren.

Widowed. If your spouse predeceases you, you will need to revise your will to distribute assets to heirs who are still alive.

Relocation. Since state laws differ on inheritance, you should have your will reviewed and updated if you relocate to another state.

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.