It's very important to have an estate plan created and professionally implemented as soon as you can. However, updating your estate plan has been found to be equally as important. If you already have an estate plan, you should understand that your work isn't finished. Your estate plan should be edited and reviewed every once in a while, depending on the circumstance.
When Should I Revise My Estate Plan?
The time to revise and review your estate plan can vary. If your estate plan and will is three or more years old, your estate planning attorney should sit down with you and review it. Also, if there has been a recent change in any tax laws or estate laws that could affect your estate plans, you should consider that a good time to review your plan.
Additionally, you should also consider updating your estate plan when specific events happen in your life, or certain factors have begun to affect you and your family. Some of these events or changes include:
Moving to another state. California, just like any other state, has its own unique estate planning laws. Some differences between state laws can be small, but other differences can drastically affect the plan you have already created. Before you move, check in with your estate planning lawyer to make any appropriate changes for your new home state.
Significant family changes. If there is a new child or grandchild in your family, you will definitely want to review your estate plan documents in order to name your new family members. This could also be appropriate if there was a recent death or divorce.
Changes in assets. Your estate plans should be reviewed if the value of your estate has drastically increased or decreased. This will affect how your property is divided.
Retirement plan updates. You will need to update your beneficiaries in your IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement documents as well. Many people fail to review these for 10 or more years. Beneficiary designations are important because they decide who will get annuities, life insurance and other assets.
Distrust between executors or trustees. It's important to deeply consider who you are designating as your executor or trustee of your estate. Circumstances might always change over the years, so check in with these people to make sure they are still willing and able to handle their responsibilities.
Updating Your Plan with A California Estate Planning Attorney
Your estate plan is important for you and your family, and our estate planning attorneys at Davidson Estate Law want to make sure that all of your documents are reviewed and accurate. If you have questions about your estate or your will and trust, our estate planning attorneys can help you. Contact us at our office for your free no-obligation phone consultation.