The good thing about creating an estate plan is you determine how your assets are distributed to heirs ahead of time. When you pass away, the court has to transfer your cash, property and other personal belongings to the people or organizations you name in the estate.
This is also a very good to reason to review your estate plan every few years and make adjustments as circumstances change.
Here are 10 events that may require you to change your estate plan in the near future:
- Inheritance – If you inherit a large sum of money, then you may need to adjust your estate accordingly.
- Marital status change – If you marry or divorce, then you should sit down with your estate attorney to make amendments right away.
- Children – If a new child or grandchild joins the family, then you may want to consider changing your estate plan to include the new addition.
- Successor Trustee Change – When a successor trustee to your estate dies or becomes incapacitated, you should name a new successor as soon as possible.
- Family Changes – Sometimes, major events cause ripples in family dynamics. If you need to remove a beneficiary from your estate, you may want to do it sooner rather than later.
- Law Notices – If a local or state law changes and you think it could affect your estate, then you should consider speaking with an estate attorney.
- Federal Law Changes – Amendments to federal estate, gift or capital gains tax laws can affect how your estate plan is distributed. Review your estate plan with your attorney or tax accountant.
- New Home/Refinancing – The purchase of a new home or refinance of an existing one can affect your estate.
- Starting/Closing a Business – If you plan to open a business or sell an existing one, then be sure your estate plan accounts for these changes.
- Retirement Accounts Increase – If your retirement accounts total more than $250,000, then you should revisit your estate plan to determine how distributions and taxes will be impacted.
This is not a complete list of reasons to change your estate plan, so be sure to review your estate every few years and speak with an estate planning attorney when you have questions.
Get a Referral to an Estate Attorney
The Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) of San Diego can provide you with a referral to an estate planning attorney. When you get a referral through the LRIS, the attorney can offer you up to 30 minutes of free consultation.