Don’t Neglect Your Estate Plan Checkup

The importance of having an updated, comprehensive estate plan cannot be overstated. It is a crucial aspect of life planning that ensures your wishes are honored and your loved ones are protected. Regardless of whether you already have an estate plan in place, regular checkups are essential to keep it relevant and effective.

The Necessity of an Estate Plan

If you don’t yet have an estate plan, it’s time to prioritize creating one. Not having an estate plan can result in undesirable consequences. If you become incapacitated without a plan in place, a court-supervised guardianship may be established, leaving you with less control over your assets and personal care. Upon your passing, your property could end up in probate court, which can be a lengthy and costly process for your loved ones.

Furthermore, without a personalized estate plan, the state will determine the distribution of your assets according to its intestacy laws. This impersonal, default plan might not reflect your wishes or adequately protect your loved ones.

Contrary to common belief, estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy. Anyone with assets—such as a home, bank accounts, retirement funds, or investment accounts —or anyone with a family should have an estate plan. The complexity of the plan will vary based on your individual circumstances. However, your plan should always be created with the help of an attorney experienced in preparing wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney.

Reviewing Your Existing Estate Plan

If you already have an estate plan, it’s crucial to review it regularly. If your documents were signed before 2010, they’re likely outdated due to significant changes in federal and state estate tax laws, among other factors. Documents signed between 2010 and 2017 may also need revising due to changes in tax laws. Additionally, the introduction of “portability” of the federal estate tax exemption for married couples could affect your plan.

Even if you signed your documents recently, changes in laws governing wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney might warrant revisions. Beyond legislative changes, consider how shifts in your personal life may impact your estate plan. Life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, relocation, retirement, significant changes in assets, inheritances, or a windfall like lottery winnings, can all warrant updates to your plan.

Estate Planning is an Ongoing Process

Estate planning isn’t a one-and-done task; it’s an ongoing process. Life is dynamic and full of changes, and your estate plan should evolve accordingly. It’s crucial that you make sure that your plan stays aligned with your current circumstances and wishes.

We’re here to assist you through this continuous process. If your life has changed since your estate plan was last updated, we can help you make sure that it still reflects your wishes and protects your interests. If you do not have an estate plan, we’re ready to guide you through its creation and modification as you navigate life’s various stages. Estate planning is not just about preparing for the end—it’s about making the journey less stressful and more secure.

750 F Street, Suite 2
Davis, CA 95616

333 University Ave, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95825

3017 Douglas Blvd, Ste 300
Roseville, CA 95616

288 Pearl Street
Monterey, CA 93940

San Antonio
18756 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste 200
San Antonio, TX 78258

We operate on an appointment-only basis other than our Davis office.

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