How long ago did you complete your estate planning? Even five years can be a long time for your estate plan to sit without a thorough review. Here are some of the reasons that your will and other essential estate documents need a read-through and possibly some changes.
It can be a great idea to review your plans after major life events. After all, the event may have a significant impact on several parts of your plan. Birth of a child or grandchild may mean that you will add a new heir to your will. A death, such as that of a spouse or estate trustee, means that new designations for inheritance and administration will need to take place.
Divorces and marriages of yourself or beneficiaries are other major events that will need a follow up on potentially several of your estate documents. Living wills, trusts, bequests and power of attorney designations are just a few major categories where documents are likely to need change.
Have you changed your state of residence for a job or perhaps in retirement? Consultation with a legal professional is a good idea to ensure that your estate documents are entirely valid in your new state. Also, has your representative or power of attorney moved to another state? You may need to check with an attorney to see if that raises complications to carry out your wishes.
A substantial change in assets or Tax Laws
If the number or size of your assets has changed significantly, a review of your documents may reveal that modifications are in order. An update in any estate law is an excellent reason to look over your plans. Advantageous tax treatment for your estate may involve modification of your will or other documents.
Changes in California laws
New laws are being added and existing laws are being modified in California each year. Most of these new laws and modifications do not require changes to your estate planning documents. Occasionally, however, one of these new laws or modifications should be covered in your estate planning documents. The five year (or more frequent) reviews will help to ensure that your estate plannig documents are current.