If you have taken the time to create an estate plan, it’s important to make sure that you update your plan when significant life changes occur. Many people forget to make updates, which can lead to their true wishes not being followed.
In the celebrity to world, we can learn that updating works from Clueless actress, Brittany Murphy. She got it right.
Brittany Murphy took the time to create an estate plan. She did so before marrying her husband, Simon Monjac. In her estate plan, she left all of her assets to her mother, Sharon Murphy. At her death, many people assumed that she had forgotten to update her plan after her marriage to Simon.
It was later discovered that Brittany had, in fact, updated her will and trust to reflect her wishes. She included language that explained that she had intentionally left her husband out of her estate plan and that all of her assets were to go to her mother. It was the same distribution pattern as her previous plan, but with the acknowledgement of her marriage. Because of this, her assets will go to her mother as she so desired.
Apparently, Brittany and Simon did not acquire any assets together after their marriage. Because of this, Simon did not have community property rights to any of Brittany’s estate.
This helps to show the need for estate plan updates. Whether you experience marriage, divorce, or a death in the family, you need to make updates to your estate plan. This will ensure that your true wishes are followed.
As Brittany shows just because you’ve gotten married, doesn’t mean that you need to leave certain assets to your new spouse. However, you do need to take the time to review and update your plan according to your wishes and needs and legally acknowledge your new situation.
If you have taken the time to create your own estate plan and have recently experienced significant life changes, take the time to meet with an attorney to make updates to your plan.