Bringing a new addition into the family is a milestone which necessitates that you revisit and revise your estate plan. If you had an estate plan prior to the birth or adoption of a child and fail to later include the child in your estate plan, the California Probate Code categorizes that child as an omitted child. Upon death, the California Probate Code gives the omitted child a share of your estate equal in value to that which the child would have received if you had died without a will or trust. This result may not be in line with your intention.
There are three exceptions to the above rule which gives the omitted child a share of your estate regardless of what is stated in your will or trust. First, if the decedent’s failure to provide for the child in the estate plan was intentional and is clearly stated in the estate planning documents. Second, the decedent devised or otherwise directed the disposition of substantially all the estate to the other parent of the omitted child. Third, the decedent provided for the child by transferring assets outside of the estate and intended that the transfer be in lieu of a provision in the estate plan as shown by statements of the decedent, the amount of the transfer, or by other evidence.
Based on the above, it is crucial for new parents to revisit their estate plans to ensure that their assets are protected and distributed according to their wishes.
To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.