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When you should update your estate plan

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2021 | Estate Planning

Many California residents know that estate plan updates are almost as important as the original document. This point is relevant because many changes happen in the lives of testators after creating an estate plan. When these changes occur, alterations to an estate plan may become necessary.

Financial changes

Major changes in income and assets may require an update to an estate plan. Testators should consider their estate planning update options when they inherit property or large sums of money. Other financial issues that may have implications on estate planning include the purchase or sale of a home, increases or decreases in asset valuation, and changes to retirement and life insurance plans.

Family changes

Significant changes to family dynamics will require testators to update an estate plan in most cases. A few common changes that may precipitate these changes include:

  • The birth or death of a family member
  • Divorce, separation or a new marriage
  • The adoption of a child
  • Death or status change of beneficiaries
  • Death or status change of executor
  • Change in number of dependents

Estate planners should react quickly with updates when their family becomes affected by either of these changes. Unexpected death or incapacitation could leave someone disinherited or pass assets to the wrong person.

Major life changes

Several life changes can make it necessary to alter a present estate plan. Generally speaking, anyone who changes their residence or moves to a different geographic location may need to change their estate plan.

A job that includes higher pay or additional benefits also merits an estate plan review. The same goes for individuals who decide to start their own business. Testators should also consider updates to their estate plan whenever they experience a change in residency or citizenship status.

Estate plans are great tools for individuals who want to ensure that the people they care for the most are accounted for when they can no longer be together. It’s important to remain flexible regarding these plans while experiencing the changes and evolution that life has in store for everyone. Individuals with questions regarding estate planning issues may find the answers they seek by speaking with an attorney about the process.