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6 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Feb 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

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When major life events take place, government tax regulations change, or if you simply change your mind regarding how you want to distribute your property at death, it may be time to update your estate plan. Finding the time to make those changes can be challenging. However, the good news is that it is relatively simple to make changes and updates to an estate plan, and your estate planning attorneys can make the experience quick and painless.

1. New Members of the Family

When a new member of the family has been born, adopted, or added to the family through marriage, you may want to update your estate plan to provide for the new member of the family, or provide additional support to the parents of a new child. Alternatively, your estate plan may want to set aside funds or plan for educational expenses of the child.

2.New Marriage or Divorce

Similar to adding a new member to the family, a new marriage by a family member may be a good opportunity to make sure you can care for your loved ones in the future. However, if you end up getting married, remarried, or divorced, updates to your estate plan may be required. Without updates, your prior estate plans may dictate how your property is dispersed upon your death, even if they are against your current wishes. It is important for your estate plan to reflect your wishes as they change.

3. Children Getting Older

Parents of young children want to ensure their children will be cared for in the unlikely event that something happens to the parents. However, as children get older, go to college, get jobs, and begin to have children of their own, you may want to shift the allocation of your property to other family members, organizations, or charities that may be more in need.

4. Change in Value of Assets or Estate

If through an inheritance, sale of a business, or beneficial investments, the value of your estate greatly increases, your estate tax implications may change. You may even want to consider gifting property or assets during your lifetime for tax advantages and reducing the overall taxable value of your estate.

5. Death of Named Beneficiaries

The death of a loved one is an unfortunate event that may require making changes to your estate plan, especially if your plans included significant distribution of assets or property to that person. However, you may still honor that loved one by making changes to your estate plan to provide for their children or causes they cared about.

6.Changes in State or Federal Tax and Estate Laws

Changes to California or federal tax and estate regulations may necessitate a change to your estate plan. The good news is that your experienced San Diego estate plan attorneys will be able to keep you informed of relevant regulatory changes. If a law or regulation could impact your estate, they can contact you to keep you up to date on these changes.

If you have any questions about estate planning or making updates to your existing estate plan, the law firm of Butterfield Schechter LLP is here to help. We will answer all your questions and make sure your estate plan is up to date, and will best provide for your loved ones. Contact our office today with any questions on how we can help you and your family succeed.

About the Author

Paul D. Woodard

Paul Woodard practices in the areas of Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Pension and Profit Sharing Plans, ERISA, ERISA Litigation, Business Law, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), and Estate Planning.

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