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When to review an estate plan in California

Estate planning is very important for people in California, no matter their age. Those who are later in life might want to consider forming an estate plan as soon as possible. People who are younger, should also form estate plans. However, one mistake people sometimes make is that they form an estate plan early in life and then simply forget about it.

Most people experience important life changes at least every couple of years. However, people who have estate plans older than 10 years old might find that their estate plans are completely out of date and need to be revised.

Considering how much time has passed is the first step in assessing if an estate plan might be out of date. Additional considerations might be whether a person has purchased real estate, if they have had a change in the person that they want managing their estate, if they've moved, or if they've had changes in their family such as births, deaths, children becoming adults or people divorcing.

All of these things can result in a person needing to change their California estate plan. If they bought property in another state, they need to ensure that property is properly included in their estate plan. A divorce would be a major reason to consider revisions to an estate plan and beneficiaries and property would likely change. While these are just some reasons a person might need to revise their estate plan, an attorney can help a person ensure their estate plan works for their current situation.

Source: Financial Planning, "Estate Plan Revise? 5 Key Questions," Tracy Craig, Jan. 27, 2013

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