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Biddle Law Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

3 Reasons to Consider Updating Your Estate Plan

While most of us know the importance of establishing a comprehensive estate plan, many of us don’t know the importance of updating it. Updating your estate plan is important for many reasons. If your estate plan doesn’t accurately reflect your current life circumstances or the current laws, it can cause many issues for your loved ones by way of tax consequences, increased fees and costs, a lengthy and expensive probate process, disqualification for certain benefits, and more. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you re-evaluate and update your estate plan over the years, but especially for the 3 reasons that follow.

1. You’ve experienced a triggering life event.

There is a variety of “triggering” life events that can warrant you revisiting your estate plan. These events can include things such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, and death of a loved one. This is because these events can impact everything from who is to administer your plan, to who is to receive your asset

. If you have a trust that you wish to change, you don’t have to redo the whole trust (though you could). Rather, you can create an amendment to it. But if you will have a lot of changes it may be in your best interest to simply do a restatement and overhaul the existing trust.

2. Your job or living circumstances have changed.

Another reason to take a look at your estate plan is if your job or living circumstances have changed.

If you’ve moved states it’s imperative that you ensure your estate planning documents adhere to the laws of your new state. You may also have to re-title your new home in the name of your trust.

If you own a business and there are changes to the ownership of that business, it’s important to consider updating your estate plan. Additionally, you should consider creating a business succession plan to lay out what will happen to your business after you are gone.

3. It’s been a while since you last looked at your plan.

As the law changes, not only can ignoring it hurt you, but you may also be missing out on advantages that come with new laws (for instance the recent increase to the estate and gift tax exemption).

If it’s been a while since you last looked at your plan, you may consider changing certain things. For instance, if your children were young when you first established your estate plan but are now grown adults, you may prefer for them to administer your estate after your death.

Biddle Law Can Help

When you work so hard for all of your assets and want them to go to specific people and causes in a certain manner, you deserve to be able to do so. However, without a properly structured estate plan, you can actually create detrimental circumstances for your loved ones, rather than help them. This is why it’s so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California estate-planning attorney who knows the current laws and has experience creating comprehensive estate plans.

At Biddle Law, we are here to answer all of your questions and walk you through the estate planning process. We care about your future and want to assist in protecting your interests. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!


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