If you live in California and have an estate plan, you still need to update it every few years or after any big changes in your life. If you get married or divorced, it is time for a document review. If you have a child or someone close to you dies, you should also review the plan and see if you need to update it.
You should review your estate planning documents after any major changes in your family, but there are other reasons you need to go over it as well. If your assets change, such as if you buy or sell property, you should take that into account. Your relationship with family members or beneficiaries might change as well. You may decide that you no longer want to leave certain assets to someone, or you might want to appoint a different person as the executor of your will.
Changes in tax law can also mean you need to review the plan. You might have used certain strategies to protect your assets from estate tax that you no longer need because the exemption is so high, or you might want to address new laws that will change what taxes your beneficiaries owe on their inheritance.
The right documents
Keep in mind as well that your estate plan is more than just a will or even just a will and a trust. You also need to review other documents such as your beneficiary designations and your powers of attorney. Furthermore, as part of your overall review, you need to make sure that you have all the documents that you need. For example, if you want to make sure that your loved ones and medical personnel know what your wishes are for end-of-life care, you might want to add a living will to your estate plan.