Contact Us for More Information

6 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

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

Shutterstock 577298269

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.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Retirement Plans

We help establish a customized plan that meets regulatory requirements as a tax qualified plan. Following implementation, our attorneys can assist clients and their plan administrator with regular reviews and updates to help with regulatory compliance for the plan's operation, and continued effectiveness in meeting the client's specific goals.


We are dedicated to employee ownership. When you come to us for ESOP services, you receive influential legal counsel who stand beside you to help you stay informed, in compliance, and abreast of the latest developments-all to help you realize your plan goals as fully and effectively as possible.


A QDRO is a specially designed court order that is required for the division of retirement benefits in a family law case. Many family law attorneys do not possess the expertise necessary to divide retirement benefits or stock options upon divorce. We have extensive experience in dividing qualified plans, government plans, IRAs and stock options between the employee spouse and non-employee spouse.

Butterfield Schechter LLP provides the information in this website as a service to its clients and visitors to the site. This website is for information purposes only and is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information in this website is provided "as is," and while the information in this website is updated periodically, additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein, and no guarantee is given that the information provided is correct, complete, or up-to-date. Seek the advice of professional counsel before acting or relying upon any article, form, or information in this web site. To ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the United States Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of: (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed herein. Butterfield Schechter LLP has endeavored to comply with all known legal and ethical requirements in compiling this website. In the event that this communication does not conform with any laws or regulations of any state or country in which it may be received, Butterfield Schechter LLP will not accept legal representation based on this communication from a person in such a state or country. Electronic mail is provided as a convenience in communicating with the attorneys at Butterfield Schechter LLP. Contact by e-mail does not alone create an attorney-client relationship. Please remember Internet e-mail is not secure and messages sent to the firm or any of its employees or attorneys should not contain sensitive or confidential information. Thank you for visiting our site.