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Updating and maintaining your estate plan

If you are like many California citizens, you have already created an estate plan and had it examined by an attorney. Congratulations for thinking ahead and staying on track. At the risk of putting a negative spin on all your hard work, there are still a few things you should consider in the estate planning process. One of these things is the need to update an existing plan. A proper estate plan does require maintenance to remain strong and effective, but the good news is that it is pretty easy to make the necessary changes.

Are you wondering what could possibly necessitate changing all of your careful work? The answer is life and its many fluctuating circumstances. Estate planning should flex as much as your life does and here are some important life changes that could mean an update to your existing plan is in order.

-- Getting married or getting divorced

-- Purchasing large assets

-- Acquiring new debts

-- Increased or decreased asset valuations

-- Having a new child or a grandchild

-- Illness or disability in your family

-- Changes in your career

-- Starting or closing a business

-- Changes in long term care or life insurance

Obviously, the above represents only a few of the major circumstances that can signal the need for an estate planning update. Life and its changes do not follow a schedule, but you can adapt to whatever is put in your path. If you have taken the initiative and set up an estate plan, you will want to make sure it remains as strong and as relevant as the day you put it in writing. If you have not started your estate planning, schedule a consultation with your attorney today.

Source: Fidelity Investments, "Reviewing & Updating Your Estate Plan," accessed Feb. 22, 2016

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