Sunday, March 25, 2012

How Often Should You Update Your Estate Plan?

By David A. Diamond

Clients often ask me how often their estate plan should be reviewed or updated.  Generally, I recommend that you review your living trust or will with your estate planning attorney every five to seven years. However, certain life events may require more frequent reviews. Here are some examples of the types of life events which make it prudent to consider an earlier review:

Changes in Family Relations

Birth of a new family member
Death of a family member or named fiduciary
Marriage in the family
Divorce in the family
Children or grandchildren reaching age of majority

Changes in Economic Situation

Substantial increase or decrease in net worth
Change in income needs
Purchase of new assets
Sale of existing assets
Starting a new business
Sale of existing business
Receipt of inheritance

Change in Health Status

Sudden change in your health status, such as diagnosis of terminal illness
Sudden change in spouse’s or other loved one’s health
Revelation of substance abuse by a family member

Other Circumstances

Change in the estate or gift tax law
Change of residence to another state
Revelation of financial irresponsibility of a beneficiary or named fiduciary

If several of these life events sound familiar and you have not yet reviewed your living trust or will with your estate planning attorney, please do not procrastinate. Call your attorney today to schedule an appointment.


David A. Diamond
Hines Carr Diamond LLP
1561 Third St., Napa, CA 94559
Tel 707.258.6234 | Fax 707.258.6264
Certified Specialist, Estate Planning Trust and Probate Law
California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization

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