10 Milestones to Revisit Your Estate Plan-Part 2
Believe it or not, estate planning isn’t a one-and-done deal; it’s an evolving process that should mirror your life’s changes. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Your estate plan must change as your life does, ensuring it remains functional and efficient.
Thus, we recommend a routine check of your estate plan with your attorney every three years. That’s not to say that significant life events might call for an immediate review, keeping it current and relevant.
We continue from last week’s post discussing life events that might necessitate a review of your estate plan. Here, we delve into five more critical instances.
06 | Serious Illness or Injury
A sudden health crisis may leave you incapable of managing your own affairs. In such times, reviewing your estate plan becomes vital. Incorporating Powers of Attorney for healthcare and finance into your plan can be life-saving. By doing this, you appoint a trusted individual to handle your bills and assets and make medical decisions on your behalf.
Including healthcare directives reflecting your preferences, religious beliefs, or treatment limitations can be beneficial too. They allow your Power of Attorney to align with your wishes, ensuring the right decisions are made.
07 | Relocation to a New State
State-specific laws and regulations govern estate planning. If you’ve moved states after setting up your estate plan, it’s crucial to consult with an attorney licensed in that state. Without that step, differences in state requirements for estate planning could lead to delays and even require court.
A review with a local attorney can ensure your plan is in line with the current state’s law, potentially preventing avoidable complications.
08 | Marriage
Tying the knot doesn’t just usher in joy and celebration; it calls for crucial legal updates as well. For one, your estate plan should reflect your marital status. While some states may automatically co-own properties with your spouse, it doesn’t assure smooth property transfer upon the death of the first spouse.
To ensure your assets reach your spouse if something happens to you, update beneficiaries, and plan for shared assets. This is a common sense step to safeguarding your spouse financially and emotionally when the inevitable happens.
09 | Divorce
Divorce is a turning point that needs immediate attention to your estate plan. Post-divorce, you may need to overhaul your estate plan, which might include updating a new Will and Trust, beneficiary designations, and assets distribution to mirror your changed circumstances.
If you have children from the marriage, revisit guardianship arrangements and their financial provisions.
10 | Changes in Law
Tax laws can change with political winds, and changes to estate tax exemptions can significantly impact your estate plan. For instance, if there’s a major shift in federal or state estate tax laws, promptly reviewing your estate plan is essential to minimize tax implications and safeguard your wealth.
Upcoming federal estate tax law changes in 2026 could affect your family’s estate tax filing status if you’re in that bracket. Proactive estate planning can help you avoid these and other potential liabilities.
Standing Beside You Through Life’s Twists and Turns
Your estate plan is your protective shield, safeguarding your family and financial health now and in the future. It isn’t a static document but a flexible tool that evolves with your life’s changes.
As your devoted estate planning firm, we strive to ensure your estate plan remains updated, relevant, and effective. We offer complimentary three-year estate plan reviews to our clients, and are available for question or concerns about life events that may impact your planning.
Ready to create a resilient estate plan that safeguards your legacy and loved ones, or want your existing one reviewed? Let’s talk. We’re here to help secure your family’s well-being for years ahead.
Use the scheduling link below to get started. Looking forward to hearing from you!
This article is a service of the Law Office of Aisha M. Williams, APC, serving San Diego, Carlsbad, Escondido, and all of California. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we’ll start you with a Family Wealth Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love.
This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.