Once you get your estate plan situated, you might think that you can forget about it since it is done. The truth is that you do need to review the will periodically so you can ensure that it still accurately reflects your wishes.
The good news is that reviewing and updating your will isn't as intense as when you first get everything hashed out. Here are some guidelines that you need to consider when you are trying to determine when you need to review your estate plan.
Has a year passed since the last review?
Ideally, you will review your estate plan at least once per year. A good idea is to pick a date that is important to you and do the review on that day or on the day after. You might decide that you are going to review it on your birthday or a holiday. Even picking the day you do your taxes would be a possibility. By reviewing everything once per year, you can double check that nothing important needs to be changed now. While you are reviewing the estate plan, you should check your financial accounts to ensure that the beneficiaries of those are still accurate.
Has your financial situation changed?
If your financial situation has changed considerably, you will likely need to update the estate plan. This change can be the acquisition of new assets or the loss of some. There is a good chance that these significant changes in your estate could mean that you need to shift around who is getting what.
Has your family composition changed?
When your family composition changes, you need to update things. Marriage, divorce, births and deaths are the reasons why you might need to change the estate plan. You need to carefully consider how to change the estate plan in all of these cases.
Has your goal for the estate plan changed?
When you create an estate plan, you have a goal in mind for what you want your estate to accomplish when you are gone. Thinking about your goal for the estate plan might clue in on changes you need to make to the plan.
The choice to update your estate plan is one that must be taken seriously. You need to ensure that you are doing everything in accordance with California law. This is the only way that you can be sure your loved ones are taken care of and that everything will be done according to your wishes.