Devising an estate plan could deliver a far more preferable outcome than allowing California’s intestate laws to govern probate decisions. When someone devises a last will and testament or health care proxy document, the person enshrines his or her wishes legally. Signing the documents and noting “estate plan completed” might not be the appropriate way to do things. Depending on how circumstances change in the coming years, the plan may require revisions.
Revising an estate plan
When someone chooses to leave everything to a child or grandchild, that decision remains legally in place until a will undergo a revision. So, if a new child or grandchild enters the family picture, leaving anything to the young one requires drawing up a new will. Similarly, it might not be preferable or advisable to leave an ex-spouse in a will or be listed as a financial account beneficiary.
Estate plans involve many different documents related to asset distribution, financial decisions, and even medical decisions. When the tax or estate law landscape changes, someone may choose to alter the original plans.
Moving forward with changes
Estate plans may require revisions when tax laws change, as the testator might need to take action to ensure things work easier for beneficiaries. Some could feel unhappy about unexpected changes, but such things may happen.
Making changes to an estate plan often occurs after a significant life event. A remarriage or receiving a substantial inheritance could prompt movement. So might a less than positive medical determination. Still, it might be wise to review estate plans each year even when no significant life changes occur. If it seems wise to make a revision, doing so swiftly could be the right strategy.