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Effective estate planning may include updating it periodically

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Even conscientious Californians might make missteps with their estate plan. Many might perceive that to be connected to omitting important aspects, failing to account for all circumstances or making a clerical error. However, even those who have crafted an estate plan and believe it is precisely how they want it organized can fail to update it when needed. This periodic re-reading of the document can find areas that for improvement or parts that must be changed. Even if a person does not think changes are needed, it is still prudent to review the estate plan at regular intervals.

Many circumstances warrant an estate plan update

In any estate plan, there will be a trusted person to serve as the executor after the testator’s death and oversee probate and ensure the document is followed as the testator desired. Perhaps a new person needs to be named. The testator may want to name a new power of attorney. People experience positive and negative occurrences in life that warrant

an update. What if a person got a new job at higher pay? They might have had a child or grandchild born. A marital breakdown could have led to a divorce. These are just some of the justifications to change an estate plan. Beneficiaries are especially critical on retirement plans and property deeds. If there was a divorce or a new marriage, this might be a point of contention and make an update necessary.

It is possible that a person created a will and now needs a trust. That could be if there was an inheritance or other ways in which a person suddenly has substantial and valuable property. A trust can dictate how that is distributed. For example, having children is a concern with large assets as younger people could find themselves overwhelmed. A testator fearful of that can create a trust with stipulations and requirements to protect them. These are just some situations as to when to revise the document.

Experienced professionals can give advice on updating an estate plan

Simply creating an estate plan is beneficial. This is a step that fewer than half of the adults in the United States have taken. Still, an estate plan as is might no longer be appropriate for the testator and his or her heirs. Scrutinizing the financial, personal and health-related aspects of their life can open the door to required updates. Just as it is useful to have guidance to create the plan, it is also imperative to have assistance when updating it. Contacting people experienced in this area is wise.