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How Much Maintenance Does an Estate Plan Need?

Consumers service their vehicle at regular intervals, and they go to annual physicals to examine their health. However, most skip over the importance of routine maintenance on their estate plan.

Just like health and vehicles, estate plans require routine maintenance. If one wants to get the most out of an estate plan, they should take it to their local estate planning lawyer in San Diego every year or when a significant change occurs. The estate plan one creates with an attorney is a snapshot in time. It reflects a consumer’s family, finances, assets, and all laws in effect at the time it was created (including tax laws).

The factors that your plan covers will change. Some change annually, while others change when the opportunity presents itself. For example, a new baby. Now a person must change the estate plan to accommodate the new baby that is not listed in it. Things may change annually, too, especially regarding assets and finances. A client may sell an asset, give it away, lose it, acquire more, and so on.

Estate Checkpoints, Not Mileage Checkpoints

The biggest difference between an estate plan and a vehicle is when maintenance is done. For a vehicle, a consumer needs service at mileage checkpoints. The estate plan, however, has event checkpoints.

Any change a consumer experiences in life, such as financial, health, or otherwise, requires them to visit an estate planning lawyer in San Diego to have their estate plan revised accordingly. Also, a consumer should review the estate plan annually by setting a particular time, such as every January, birthday, or anniversary.

Events That Require Estate Plan Modification

Estate plans will require modifications in between annual checkups when there are significant changes to the estate. These changes may include:

  • Marriage, divorce, or separation
  • Declining health (or declining health of spouse)
  • Death of spouse
  • Dramatic change in asset value
  • Change in business interests
  • Purchase of real estate in other state
  • Death of family member
  • Death of beneficiary
  • Death of executor or guardian for minor children
  • Birth or adoption of child
  • Minor reaches adulthood
  • New dependence on testator by parent or relative
  • Significant change to state or federal taxes that affect testator’s estate
  • Relocation to another state
  • Change of mind regarding estate plan

Any time a testator has a change in circumstances, they should speak with their estate planning lawyer in San Diego. Even if they are unsure, an estate planning attorney can review the estate plan and determine if the changes affect their plan.

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