Having an estate plan in California is great, but neglecting to update it throughout your life can have detrimental consequences. Because elements of your plan address the use and fate of your assets, periodically verifying the function of your plan can guarantee the outcomes you desire.
Updating your plan as needed can reduce the risks of disputes, confusion and misunderstanding among your loved ones following your death.
Major life changes
When you finalize aspects of your estate plan the first time, it may seem unlikely that you will ever need to change anything. However, throughout your life, you may encounter exciting and disappointing circumstances that could affect elements of your plan. According to Today’s Caregiver, some top life changes that call for an update to your plan include the following:
- You get divorced or remarried
- You or someone named in your plan suffers a life-altering illness or disability
- Your family grows through birth or adoption
- You incorporate financial changes including the addition of retirement benefits
- Someone named in your plan passes away
Changes to tax law
Changes to tax law are another critical reason to update your estate plan. A periodic assessment of the correlation between tax laws and your plan can help you identify places where minor modifications could better protect the well-being of your surviving family members.
Significant changes to laws regarding estate tax may lead you to modify the way you plan to alleviate some of the financial burdens on your family after your death. Working with a legal professional can help you understand the impact of estate taxes so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed with your planning.