While some people may not have taken time to create a will or trust (and we suggest you do so promptly), others have had a will or trust for many years. But how can you be sure your will or trust is current enough to cover any life changes that may have happened since its creation? Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your estate plan needs updating.
–Was the will or trust reviewed by your attorney within the past two years? If not, have your attorney review the document.
–Is your list of beneficiaries current? If you need to change one or more beneficiaries, have an attorney help update them.
–Was your will or trust written before 1982? Many wills and trusts established before 1982 contains a limited marital deduction clause that can be removed upon updating. Consult your attorney.
–Have your properties owned changed? Buying or selling properties should be reflected in your estate plan.
–Has your spouse passed on, been divorced, or have you remarried? Has one of your beneficiaries changed marital statuses? Be sure your beneficiaries are current to the current marital statuses of your family.
–Has your family expanded through the adoption or birth of a child/grandchild? Be sure to include all family members you desire in your succession plan.
–Has your health deteriorated? Most estate plans contain provisions for your care when your health does not permit it. Be sure such sections of your plan are current to how you desire to be cared for.
–Have your assets appreciated since the initial writing of your documents? Keep up to date records of the worth of your assets including homes, properties, investments, and such.
–Have you changed life insurance companies, pension plans, or another retirement benefit program since establishing a will or trust? Current records of these changes will eliminate later hassle after you are gone.
–Have you moved to another state since writing your will or trust? Have your attorney review the estate plan and update any necessary tax information current to your present states' tax laws.
Overall, having an attorney review your will or trustevery two years or so is a wise practice as tax laws, property values, and other factors can change with little notice. Keeping your estate plan current will help your family avoid court proceedings or other hassles after you're gone.
If you would like more information concerning estate planning, contact Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson Von Tungeln (TVT) at (661) 426-2499 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand.