Many people fail to draw up an estate plan, which could leave heirs in a difficult position. Those that take the necessary steps to write a will or devise a trust embrace the planning required to make California estate management potentially less challenging for beneficiaries and surviving relatives. Unfortunately, even those with good intentions may fall into a common trap. They see an estate plan as a “finished” process instead of an “evolving” one. A change in circumstance could necessitate changes to an estate plan. Delaying those changes might prove troubling.
Reasons for making changes to an estate plan
Life changes, both minor and significant, may prompt revisiting a will. The child’s birth, remarrying, inheriting wealth or property, increases in business revenue, and other events might lead to altering the document.
A will might state to divide specific assets equally between a spouse and a sibling. After a child’s birth, the testator may wish to change the distribution to equal thirds, with the child’s third utilized to purchase a 30-year bond in the young one’s name.
Some might reflect on a new situation and believe a will proves insufficient and chooses to switch to a trust. If the will remains, then that becomes the document valid under the law. Plans to draw up a trust that never occurs mean nothing. After all, there’s no trust.
Other legal documents to consider when changing plans
Not every estate plan change involves anything drastic. Changing the executor of the estate may not prove earth-shattering. Some decisions may not even involve a will, but they could indicate drastic changes.
Writing and signing a power-of-attorney document involves a designee directing special powers to an agent to handle his or her affairs while alive. Illness or other difficulties may lead someone to give another person the POA.
Matters related to health care decisions involve creating a health care proxy or a living will. A person that receives a terminal illness diagnosis may want to set up such plans.
Estate planning changes might be worth exploring. An attorney could help someone in need of making alterations to current plans.