When should you update your estate plan?
Make no mistake, life changes. And these changes come in all shapes and forms. People come and go. Circumstances change, too. Just like life, your estate plan should also be something that changes over time.
At the very basic, estate planning is the process of outlining what will happen to you and your assets when you are incapacitated or dead. Your estate plan is a documented expression of your current wishes. If these wishes change, it is important that you update your estate to reflect these changes. If you do not, then you risk having assets become an item of legal contention. So, when should you update your California estate plan?
Here are two instances when updating your estate plan makes perfect sense:
1. You move to another state.
Every state has estate planning laws domiciled to it. Meaning, your California estate plan may not hold if you move to another state, and vice versa. If you move to another state, your California estate will be subject to your new state’s estate planning laws. Be sure to update your estate plan as soon as you move to another state to avoid legal complications should something happen.
2. There are changes to your assets and liabilities.
During the course of your life, you will likely acquire new assets as you lose some. When you acquire new assets, say you have bought a home or invested in stocks and bonds, you need to plan what will happen to them when you pass on. This calls for updating your estate plan. Likewise, if you lose part of your estate for whatever reason, it is important that you update your estate plan to reflect your current asset status.
A properly written and up-to-date estate plan will give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes regarding your estate will be honored when you are no longer around to make important decisions. However, for your estate plan to be valid, it is important that you review and update it from time to time to reflect your current status.