Modern Estate Planning Adapting to Legal and Digital Changes

The recent litigation surrounding Lisa Marie Presley’s estate underscores the critical importance of maintaining an up-to-date estate plan. Presley’s outdated estate plan led to a legal battle, highlighting how changes in family dynamics and personal circumstances can necessitate regular reviews and updates to ensure your wishes are honored and your assets are protected. A significant aspect of this dispute involved the ownership of Graceland, now owned by Lisa’s daughter, Riley Keough. Graceland remains a valuable asset worth an estimated $400-$500 million, emphasizing the need for clear and current estate planning See

Many individuals create an estate plan and assume it is a one-time task. However, numerous factors can render an estate plan obsolete. Changes in family dynamics, financial situations, and state or federal laws can all impact the effectiveness of your estate plan. See

What changes can necessitate an estate plan update?

  • Family Changes: Life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a beneficiary require adjustments to your estate plan. Failing to update your plan can lead to unintended consequences, such as assets being distributed to the wrong individuals or loved ones being overlooked.
  • Financial Changes: Significant changes in your financial situation, such as acquiring new assets, selling property, or changes in the value of your investments, necessitate a review of your estate plan to ensure it accurately reflects your current financial status and intentions.
  • Legal Changes: The legal landscape for estate planning is continually evolving. According to Family Wealth Report, recent legislative changes can significantly impact estate planning strategies, especially concerning taxes and asset protection. Staying informed about these changes and consulting with an estate planning attorney is essential to maintaining an effective estate plan.

What are digital assets and how do they impact estate planning?

What are the steps to include digital assets in your estate plan?

  • Inventory Your Digital Assets: Create a comprehensive list of your digital assets, including login information, passwords, and security questions. This inventory should cover email accounts, social media profiles, online banking, cryptocurrency, and any other digital properties.
  • Appoint a Digital Executor: Designate someone trustworthy and tech-savvy to manage your digital assets. This person should have clear instructions on how to handle each asset, whether it involves transferring ownership, closing accounts, or archiving data.
  • Document Your Wishes: Clearly outline your preferences for managing your digital assets. This can include instructions for social media profiles, online subscriptions, and digital financial accounts. Make sure these instructions are legally documented and accessible to your digital executor.

Contact a California Estate Planning Attorney

Keeping your estate plan current requires regular reviews and updates. Partnering with an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that your plan adapts to changes in your life and the law. At the Law Office of David Knecht, we offer personal advice, legal experience and ongoing support. Contact us at 707-451-4502.