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Do You Need to Update Your Estate Plan?

Do You Need to Update Your Estate Plan?

August 24, 2021 By The Sterling Law Group

Once you have an estate plan, your job is not done. If you experience any type of life changes involving your beneficiaries or property, you will need updates. Speak with an estate planning lawyer today. 

Too many people allow their initial estate plan to stay in place unchanged throughout the course of their lives. This can render some provisions of a will or trust invalid or allow an unfavorable designation of power of attorney or another position of authority. If you are in California and looking to update your estate plan, reach out to a lawyer who can assist with this process. A lawyer can identify where change might be needed and help to implement it properly. 

When your life changes, so should your estate plan 

Your estate plan is an important element of your overall life plan, as it determines how your life’s work and the belongings and assets you established over your career and beyond are distributed when in need or upon passing. If you pass without a will, state law determines who gets your property based upon their relationship to you. 

In addition, significant changes in your life circumstances such as a marriage, a divorce, or the birth of a child all call for a revisit to your estate plan to ensure it is still appropriate and valid. Understanding the complexities of wills and trusts can be difficult, particularly when substantial life changes are demanding your attention in other areas. As with divorce, when undergoing estate planning, a lawyer advocate goes a long way in preserving your peace of mind and optimizing the outcome of your situation. 

Reasons to update your estate plan: 

  • Change in marital status 
  • Retirement from work 
  • The purchase or sale of significant assets 
  • Changes in living situations
  • Long-term care arrangements or changes 

When your intended beneficiaries change, so should your estate plan 

Upon the passing of a loved one, one of the worst things that can happen is bickering and fighting among the family because the estate plan was unclear. Should your desired beneficiaries change, or if a change in your life circumstances subtracts or adds new beneficiaries, it is important that your estate plan likewise be updated. This could happen with a falling out with a friend, the passing of a close relative, or the birth or adoption of a child, among other circumstances. 

To ensure that your estate plan accurately reflects your current desires, it is a good idea to revisit your estate plan every couple of years with an attorney and to determine if it still meets with your preferences at that time. Keep in mind that, as reported in Forbes, while California does not have an estate tax, there are other taxes due on both the state and federal level for inherited assets, highlighting the importance of an estate lawyer to help you. 

Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer from Sterling Law Group Today 

If this article has helped you decide that, yes, it is time to update your estate plan, reach out to The Sterling Law Group so that one of our experienced estate lawyers can assist you. Call (916) 790-0852 or go online to book your consultation today.

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