One colleague did a search of all of his estate planning client files and determined that his clients updated their estate plans only every 19.6 years. Wow! Imagine all the changes in your personal life, financial life, the law, and your estate planning attorney’s experience over 19.6 years. Think how your views, goals, hopes, and dreams have evolved as life has unfolded. You likely feel like a different person than you did nearly 20 years ago.
Regular Updates are Required Periodically
Every estate plan needs to be reviewed, and, sometimes updated on a regular basis. There are two types of changes every single estate plan faces:
- Changes in Your Personal Situation
- Changes in the Law
Updates are Required upon Significant Events
If you experience a significant event, your estate plan needs to be reviewed, and, perhaps, updated very quickly. The following are legally significant events:
- You move to a new state.
- You have a new child, adopt a child, gain a step-child, or a child dies or is seriously ill.
- You get married, divorced, enter a life partner relationship, or depart from a life partner relationship.
- You start a new business or need to wind down a business.
- Your health changes.
- Your estate planning goals change.
- A named trusted helper (executor, trustee, guardian, or power of attorney agent) is unable or unwilling to serve due to disability, death, or a change in relationship.
- Your goals change.
- Your beneficiaries develop some kind of financial, medical, or drug related problem.
- You read the headlines and know that estate tax or estate planning laws have changed or are about to change.
Where to Get Help with Your Estate Plan as Unfolds
Always consult with a qualified estate planning attorney regarding updates to your estate plan. Please feel free to contact our office for a consultation by calling 858-792-5988 today.