Everyone's life is in a constant state of flux. Relationships start and end, bank balances fluctuate and opinions change. Estate plans should be altered in order to reflect this change, but it is, of course, absurd to change them monthly to reflect the small changes in our lives.
Many people struggle to gauge the right time to update their estate plan, and this often leads them to delay the decision. For some people, this delay means that their estate plan is never updated to reflect their true wishes. This either leads to a distribution of assets that do not represent what they wanted at the end of their life, or an upsetting legal battle involving the loved ones of the deceased.
If you are considering updating your estate plan in California, the following are some indications that you should be doing so sooner rather than later.
If you have recently become a parent or a grandparent
If you have welcomed a new addition to the family since you last updated your estate plan, you should make sure that they are included in your will if you intend them to be. As a parent, you can give instructions about whom you would like to be the guardian of your child in the event of you or your spouse passing away. As a grandparent, you may want to look into the advantages of setting up a trust.
If you are suffering from poor health
Dealing with an illness can put a lot of things into perspective. If you have recently been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, you will need to contemplate a time when you are unable to care for yourself or make decisions regarding your health. Regardless of the current state of your health, the future is uncertain, and everyone should consider setting up a medical power of attorney if they have clear opinions on how they would like to be cared for.
If changes have occurred in your life recently, it is important that you update your estate plan accordingly. If nothing else, doing so will give you peace of mind in knowing the legacy that you will leave at the end of your lifetime.