Suppose you actually have an estate plan in place. This already puts you ahead of the game, as you are in the minority amongst most Americans. According to a recently released survey, 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 55 to 64 do not even have a will. However, even if you did get that will or trust in place ten, four or even two years ago, this does not mean estate planning is finished for you. It is very important to maintain and revise your estate plan after certain life events.

Here are some of the top reasons to get your estate plan updated or revised:

  1. Moving out-of-state or internationally: While most states will still recognize a will or trust you had created in another state, there could still be some jurisdictional differences that could impact your estate plan. For example, certain tax consequences and marital property laws could affect how your assets are distributed.
  2. Illness or serious injury: When you or a loved one falls ill or is seriously injured this can completely change the game as far as what may be needed in a trust. You may need more assets or may need to change the trust requirements.
  3. Divorce or remarriage: The union or dissolution of two people means a change in property, assets and liabilities. This certainly can impact an estate plan and almost always needs to be revised after such a significant life event.
  4. Inheritance: Receiving unexpected assets (especially significant assets) will require additional asset protection from revised estate planning.
  5. Birth or adoption: If you have children or adopt a child, this will often mean you will want to change your beneficiaries. You may also consider guardianship options and other ways to protect your child in the event you are no longer able to.

These are just some of the major reasons to revise your estate plan. If you are interested in learning more about when you should amend your trust, will or other estate planning tool, consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer in California.