Why should you review your estate plan documents?

In the event of your incapacitation or death, having an outdated estate plan may have unintended consequences.

For example,

  • Your new assets, not transferred to your trust, being subject to probate;
  • If you are predeceased by your nominated executors, trustees, or beneficiaries, you may be represented by individuals that do not have your best interests in mind, or that you no longer have a close relationship with;
  • Your assets being directed to people or causes that you no longer support;
  • Conflict within your family and friends;
  • Outdated estate law tying the hands of your surviving spouse;

When should you review your estate planning documents with your attorney?

  • Birth/adoption of a child or grandchild;
  • Death of a family member, executor, trustee, or personal representative of your estate of any kind;
  • Marriage, affecting you or a beneficiary of your estate;
  • Divorce, affecting you or a beneficiary of your estate;
  • Illness or disability of you or your spouse, or even someone named in your estate plan;
  • Changes in your personal life that may lead you to no longer wish to have a specific person represent you in the event of your death or incapacitation, or inherit from your estate;
  • A major change in your assets or investments such as a purchase or sale of a home, or the start of a new business;
  • Change in CA state laws including any probate code, tax law, trust law, any laws that govern your estate;
  • You are a new CA resident;
  • You are nearing retirement, and before your qualified retirement plans start to distribute themselves (IRA, 401k, etc.);
  • It has been 3+ years since your last review

It’s important to keep in mind that the act of reviewing your documents doesn’t always mean an amendment is necessary, but notifying your attorney keeps you on track and aware of any required updates.

Happy Planning!


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Brittany Britton is licensed to practice law in the state of California only.