Putting together an estate plan requires significant time and effort. Upon signing the various documents, the planner may feel some relief about getting things done. However, it might be premature to assume California estate planning won’t require any revisitation. Situations change, and the planner might need to amend wills, trusts, power of attorney forms, and health care proxies.
Time to change estate plans
Naming beneficiaries to a will or a transfer on a death account might require revising the designations. Sometimes, a relative might fall out of someone’s favor, and removing that person becomes the planner’s preference. Or, there could be some new relatives in the family. Births, adoptions, and marriages lead could prompt estate plan changes to make sure someone is not left out.
Divorces and deaths in the family may necessitate removing names from estate planning documents. Someone who passed away cannot serve as an executor, and an ex-spouse might be a poor choice to serve as an attorney-in-fact.
Re-examining estate plans
Financial changes could increase net worth, such as coming into a significant inheritance or selling a business at a windfall profit. Unfortunate circumstances might drive net worth down. Significant changes to personal wealth may lead to rethinking any estate planning. Changes to POA designations or alterations to a trust might be preferable in light of the new circumstances.
Sadly, health matters could change for the worse. Without a health care proxy or living will, relatives might struggle with an incapacitated loved one’s situation. Maybe a health care proxy requires replacing with a living will.
Putting off making changes might not help planners or their family members. A periodic review of an estate plan helps those who might consider making changes. If the present plans don’t fit the planner’s situation, revisions might be unavoidable.