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Phone: 925-852-6014

Free 30 Minute Initial Consultation. Telephone Conferences Available via Phone and Video.

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When to update your estate plan

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Everyone needs an estate plan. It ensures that your wishes are followed after you pass away. 

However, creating an estate plan is not a one-time task; it requires periodic updates to stay current with your evolving life circumstances and changes in the law. Here, you will find key moments and reasons why you should revisit and update your estate plan, helping you maintain peace of mind and safeguard your legacy.

Major life events

Significant life changes often necessitate an update to your estate plan. Events such as these require you to take a look at your existing estate plan:

  • Getting married
  • Filing for divorce
  • The birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a beneficiary or spouse

These changes can affect your choice of beneficiaries and the division of your assets. For example, you might want to include a new spouse or child in your will, or you might need to remove a former spouse.

Changes in the Law

Current estate tax exemption rates are the highest they have been in history, allowing individuals an unprecedented $13.61 million and married couples $27.22 million to give away tax-free during life or death. As a result, there are very few married couples who need the A – B Trust which is much more difficult and expensive to administer on the death of the first spouse. You might want to check if you have an A – B Trust and amend your trust to change it.

Changes in financial situation

Another critical reason to update your estate plan is an increase or decrease in your financial assets. This includes acquiring significant assets such as a home, business or large inheritance. Conversely, if you encounter substantial debt or financial loss, your estate plan might need adjustments to reflect these changes. Ensuring that your estate plan accurately represents your financial situation is crucial for maintaining your wishes and reducing potential conflicts among beneficiaries.

Even without major life changes, it’s a good practice to review your estate plan regularly, typically every three to five years. Regular reviews help ensure that your plan remains up-to-date with your current wishes and any changes in laws or personal circumstances. Consistent reviews and updates can provide peace of mind and ensure that your estate plan effectively fulfills your intentions.

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