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Do You Need to Update Your Estate Plan?

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Every so often, it’s smart to methodically go through your estate planning documents and see if any tweaks are needed. Here’s a checklist to guide you through that mission.

Make sure that you review your estate plan at least once every two or three years to be certain all information is accurate and up to date. It’s even more necessary if you experienced a significant change, such as marriage, divorce, a move, or a new child or grandchild. If laws have changed, or if your wishes have changed and you need to make substantial changes to the documents, you should visit an experienced estate planning attorney. If you would like to make an appointment in Modesto or anywhere else in California, please feel free to book a call with the Tagre Law Office.

Kiplinger’s recent article “2021 Estate Planning Checkup: Is Your Estate Plan Up to Date?” gives us a few things to keep in mind when updating your estate plan:

Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive. A power of attorney is a document in which you authorize an agent to act on your behalf to make business, personal, legal, or financial decisions, if you become incapacitated.  It must be accurate and up to date. You should also review and update your health care power of attorney to affirm any clearly express wishes as to your end-of-life treatment options.

Trusts. If you have a revocable living trust, look at the trustee and successor trustee appointments to be sure the people named are still who you wish to handle your affairs. Also review your beneficiary designations ensure your assets are distributed the way you want after your death.

A Will. Review the details of your will, including your executor, and the allocation of your estate. If you have minor children, you should also formally designate guardians for them.

Moving to Another State. Note that if you’ve recently moved to a new state, the estate laws vary in different states. Therefore, it’s wise to review your estate plan to make sure it complies with local laws and regulations.

Changes in Probate or Tax Laws. Review your estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney to see if it’s been impacted by changes to any state or federal laws.

Gifting Opportunities. The laws concerning gifts can change over time, so you should review any gifts and update them accordingly. You may also want to change specific gifts or recipients.

Regularly updating your estate plan can help you to avoid simple estate planning mistakes. You can also ensure that your estate plan is entirely up to date and in compliance with any state and federal laws.

We serve clients in Modesto, Ripon, Manteca, Tracy, Turlock, and throughout California. Contact us or book a call with our attorney to discuss your estate planning needs.

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