It is generally a mistake for those who live in California to avoid creating a will, trust or power of attorney documents. However, it can also be problematic to not update these documents after they are executed. Take a look at some good reasons to review your estate plan on a regular basis.
There is a new addition to the family
You will likely want to make sure that a child or grandchild is properly cared for after you pass. Furthermore, you may want to revise your estate plan after you get married to ensure that the needs of your spouse and extended family members are accounted for. Alternatively, it may be necessary to remove a former spouse or a deceased family member from a will or trust.
Be proactive when it comes to beneficiary designations
In most cases, money inside of a retirement plan, brokerage account or bank account will transfer to its new owner through a beneficiary designation. The language included in beneficiary designations trumps the language of a will or trust, so it is important to review and update them regularly. This may be especially true if you expect the value of an account to appreciate over time. Otherwise, you run the risk of a former spouse or estranged family member inheriting money or other assets that weren’t intended for that person.
It’s typically a good idea to review an estate plan as life events take place. These events may include a marriage, a divorce or the birth of a new child or grandchild. It may also be worthwhile to review an estate plan if it includes beneficiary designations that haven’t been updated in several years. An attorney may be able to help you review or alter your plan.