Menu Contact Law Office of Jeffrey B. Pape, P.C.
Contact a Lawyer

When to revise your estate plan

If you have already created a plan for your estate, congratulations! Over half of those who are within a decade of retiring have not even written a simple will. By planning your estate, you demonstrate foresight and consideration for your loved ones.

However, if it has been a number of years since you and your attorney drafted the will or trusts you required to manage your assets, you may want to revisit those documents. A lot may have changed, and your plan may no longer reflect your wishes.

Changes in your family

If you recently got married, you will want to make sure that your new spouse is included in your plan. Likewise, in many states - like California - divorce impacts a person's estate plan. If you recently dissolved your marriage, it may be a good time to take another look at your beneficiary designations.

Other family changes may have taken place since you made your will or trust:

  • You had or adopted a child. You will certainly want to make provisions for your children, perhaps by creating a trust.
  • Your son or daughter had or adopted a child. You may wish your estate to provide for the education of your grandchildren.
  • Your new spouse has children of his or her own. There may be assets you prefer to keep in the family rather than having them pass to your stepchildren through your spouse.

A careful review of your beneficiaries may be all that is necessary. However, if your family situation has radically transformed, your estate plan may need more comprehensive alterations.

Dealing with change

Sometimes major changes can affect your estate and the way you desire for it to be distributed. For example, you may move to a different state, forcing you to consider a new set of laws and tax codes. A change in your health may require you to use some of your assets. If your financial situation suddenly changes for the better or for the worse, your plan should take that into account.

Finally, you may simply change your mind. Potential heirs may prove themselves more or less worthy of your gifts, or other causes may grow in importance and compel you to support them through your estate.

Even if you aren't aware of anything new or different since you made your plan, estate planners recommend reviewing it every five years or so. Your attorney will inform you of any new laws regarding estate plans and taxes or any new tools that may be useful to your estate.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
email us for a response
Review Us
Map Location Image

Law Office of Jeffrey B. Pape, P.C.
642 Pollasky Avenue
Suite 100
Clovis, CA 93612

Toll Free: 800-797-5677
Fax: 559-299-0920
Map & Directions