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Review your estate plan regularly to keep it up to date

People often think of estate planning as a “set it and forget it” event, but the truth is that an estate plan usually must be revisited periodically to make sure that it is up to date. It is generally a good idea to work with your lawyer to review your estate plan at least once every few years, even if nothing significant has changed in your life or financial circumstances. By doing so, you can ensure that your estate plan is up to date with regard to the latest tax and estate planning laws

Both at the federal level and right here in California, these laws can change frequently and may have a major impact on your estate. Staying on top of these laws will help maximize your gifts to your heirs and minimize the amount of your estate that will be lost to taxes.

In addition to performing these regularly scheduled estate planning “check ups,” it is also important to review your estate plan whenever there is an important change in your financial situation or life circumstances.

For instance, if you have recently gotten married or divorced, you will want to revise your state plan as soon as possible to reflect those changes. You should also review your estate plan when there are other important changes in your family structure, such as the birth or adoption of a child.

Yet another life event that should trigger an estate plan review is when there is an important change in your financial circumstances, such as the acquisition or sale of a home or business venture. 

Source: Forbes, "Why You Should Update Your Estate Plan," Russ Alan Prince, July 3, 2014

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