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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, December 20, 2018

It May Be Time to Update Your Estate Plan

What life changes might require a change to your estate plan?

Fewer than half of all Americans have an estate plan in place.  If you are among the half that has taken the time to create an estate plan, then this information is relevant to you. While making an estate plan is a critical step towards protecting your future, your plans for the future cannot end there. Your estate plan will at times need to be updated and revised. Our California wills and trusts attorney reviews some circumstances that may require you to alter your estate plan below.

Law and Life Changes

As time goes on, your life will change and so will tax laws.  When tax laws shift, it may be necessary to readdress your estate plan to make sure it still protects your assets from the estate tax and other taxation that could greatly impact your estate’s value.  In addition to changing tax laws, the following life changes may dictate a change to your estate plan:

  1. Your family changed:  Families are always growing and evolving.  With each new addition to the family, it can be wise to update your estate plan to ensure your new child or grandchild is fully protected. Along with births, your family could also experience deaths and divorce.  You will want to update your estate plan if a loved one dies and may need to completely rethink your estate plan if you become divorced.

  2. You moved:  Estate planning laws vary by state.  Some states have an estate tax, while others do not. Some states require that you give a certain amount of money to your spouse, while others leave it completely up to you.  If you have created your estate plan in one state but then move to another, you will want to consult with an estate planning lawyer in the new state to ensure your estate plan remains accurate.

  3. Your assets have altered:  A significant change in your estate’s assets and liabilities should warrant a review of your estate plan.  If you have sold a major piece of real estate or a business, your will or trust will need to reflect this change in assets.  The sale of some assets may further require you to reassess the division of other assets.

    Should you experience any of these life changes or others like them, contact an estate planning lawyer for a review of your current estate plan.

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