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How Often Should You Review Your Estate Plan?

Clients often feel an overwhelming sense of relief when they complete their estate plan. It’s a checkmark off the proverbial “To Do” list. After basking in this satisfaction, many clients later neglect to review, and possibly revise, their estate plans when circumstances may call for changes. Chauvel & Glatt recommends clients have their estate plan reviewed at least every five years, or sooner, if a major life event occurs.

Life isn’t static and several common triggers tend to necessitate review and potential modifications.

Life Happens

Did you have a child, your child turn 18, or did you become a grandparent? Did your marital status change or did your health decline? Moving your residence in or out of California also sparks the need to evaluate your estate plan. These changes can substantially alter your goals and needs.

Was there a significant change in one of your beneficiaries’ life? Perhaps their financial situation changed in a way which affects their needs or your desires. You may also want to adjust some parameters of their distribution due to their new life choices or circumstances. You may also consider a new beneficiary or charitable organization to incorporate into your plan?

Another often overlooked inflection point is the individual you selected to play a role in your estate plan, as a trustee, guardian, agent or otherwise. Did the designated person move out of the area, or did their life situation change to the point where they no longer have the time, interest or capacity to fulfill the role? Did your relationship with a person change to the point where you would rather someone else step into the role?

Assets Change

A change in the value or character of your assets may require a review. Buying or selling real estate or a business, a major change in portfolio value, or receiving significant Inheritance or employment windfall can change the parameters of your plan and affect prior decisions.

Laws Change

Estate and related tax laws fluctuate, which can necessitate a review of your estate plan. The amount of the federal estate transfer exclusion is a widely known flashpoint that can impact clients. However, there are also other lesser known changes or newly enacted laws that can affect your decisions. Chauvel and Glatt is always on top of those changes to provide clients with the most effective and efficient planning considerations.

Next Steps

For more information regarding reviewing your estate plan, contact Chauvel & Glatt for your Estate Planning needs.

This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact  Chauvel & Glatt at 650-881-2476 for legal assistance near you. (photo credit: Depositphotos.com)