Once you have an estate plan, it is all too easy to feel peace of mind without revisiting the issue. However, regularly reviewing and updating your estate plan is crucial to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and aligns with any changes in your life circumstances.
Life is dynamic, and certain events serve as clear indicators that it’s time to revisit and modify your estate plan. Below are some key times when updating your estate plan is essential. Speak with an experienced Contra Costa County estate planning attorney about your specific estate planning concerns today.
Major Life Events
Significant life changes such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child should prompt an update to your estate plan. You’ll likely want to include your spouse or new child as beneficiaries or guardians or modify the distribution of assets accordingly.
Changes in Financial Situation
If your financial situation significantly improves or declines, it may be necessary to adjust your estate plan. This includes changes in income, investments, or acquiring new assets like a house or business.
Moving to a different state or country can impact the validity and effectiveness of certain legal documents in your estate plan. If you move to California, for example, it’s crucial to consult with an attorney in this state to ensure that your estate plan complies with local laws.
If you or a loved one experiences a serious health issue or a decline in health, updating your estate plan is essential. This may involve appointing a healthcare proxy, creating a living will or advance healthcare directive, or revising the distribution of assets based on healthcare needs.
Changes in Tax Laws
Tax laws are subject to frequent updates and modifications. A change in tax laws may impact your estate planning strategies, necessitating a review of your existing plan to optimize tax efficiency.
Beneficiary or Personal Representative Changes
Over time, relationships with beneficiaries may change. You may want to add or remove beneficiaries or modify the distribution of assets based on your current wishes.
If you named someone as an executor, trustee, or guardian in your estate plan, but your relationship with them has changed, it’s essential to update your plan accordingly.
If a beneficiary or a person named in your estate plan becomes incapacitated or passes away, you’ll need to update your plan to reflect the changes in beneficiaries or appointed representatives.
Business Succession Planning
If you own a business, changes in your business structure or partners may require modifications to your estate plan to ensure a smooth business succession process.
Even in the absence of major life events, it’s a good idea to review your estate plan every few years. Laws and circumstances can change, so updating your plan regularly helps ensure it remains current and effective.
Consult with Our Trusted Contra Costa County Estate Planning Lawyers
To ensure that your estate plan accurately reflects your wishes and addresses your current needs, consult with an experienced estate planning attorney from Pedder Hesseltine Walker and Toth who can guide you through the process of updating your plan. Contact our office today to learn more about our services.