Redding, California, Law Blog

Is it time to update your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Planning

Estate planning allows a testator to instruct how their assets are handled after they pass away. Many people create these plans early in life. Over time, a testator may wish to alter their estate plan. 

There doesn’t need to be an exact reason to update an estate plan. Here are a few reasons others have updated their estate plans:

Has it been more than 5 years?

It’s often recommended to update an estate plan every three to five years. It’s generally believed that people accumulate enough assets over five years to warrant a revised estate plan. 

Did you get married or divorced?

Marriage is a major life event in many people’s lives. Not only do people expect their lives to change somewhat after a marriage but it may be a strong reason to update an estate plan. A testator may alter their plan so that their spouse is included as a beneficiary, power of attorney or child guardian. These are major decisions that can also strengthen a marriage.

Conversely, these changes to an estate plan may need to be reversed after a divorce. An ex-spouse may no longer be trusted as a power of attorney or child guardian. And, a testator may prioritize other beneficiaries over their ex-spouse. 

Are you still close to your beneficiaries?

Many people alter their estate plans because their relationship with a beneficiary has changed. This can happen when a testator has a falling out with a beneficiary. Alternatively, if a beneficiary is deceased, then it may also call for an altered estate plan.

Knowing why you want to alter your estate plan can help as you revise your former decisions. If you need help updating your estate plan, then you may need to reach out for legal guidance.