Writing a comprehensive estate plan could help beneficiaries experience less difficulty in a California probate court. Of course, there are other elements to estate plans that do not involve a will or trust, and those documents often require careful thought and attention. Not everyone puts a legal estate plan together, which is unfortunate. Another error typically made is allowing the estate plan to remain unchanged. Sometimes, circumstances dictate the need to revise the documents.
Reasons to change an estate plan
Several compelling reasons could prompt changing a will, including the addition of new family members. If new children or grandchildren are not added to a will, they may not receive anything during probate. Financial matters could motivate changes. Someone might gain a windfall inheritance or experience unexpected business or investment success. A wealthier estate may lead someone to change a will to a more controllable trust.
Going through a divorce or remarrying would motivate changes to an estate plan. Leaving one’s assets to an ex-spouse instead of a current partner might not be a preferred plan. And sadly, beneficiaries may pass away. Removing a deceased beneficiary from estate documents seems advisable.
Points about changing estate plans
Someone who moves to or from California may need to review and possibly change estate documents. Laws vary from state to state. Estate planning steps could become useless when the documents are not legally valid in a new jurisdiction, so it is worth checking to make sure they are legal. If not, new documents would likely be necessary.
Medical issues might move someone to make changes, and the alterations might not involve wills exclusively. Financial and health care powers of attorney might need revisions. Ultimately, an estate plan may benefit from changes that reflect someone’s current situation.