When should I consider changing my will?

Life is full of changes. Some of them are planned for, but others are unexpected, as is often the case with the birth of a child. Other matters can also seemingly come out of the blue, such as spur-of-the-moment marriage or divorce. While these changes can certainly have a meaningful effect on one's day-to-day life, they can also have long-term consequences. This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. In this context, these changes can affect how assets will be distributed and to whom.

This is why it is critical to update one's California estate planning documents from time-to-time, including the will. There are many life events that can justify a will modification. If after the creation of a will, for example, one finds themselves committed to a long-term partner, then they may want to add him or her to the will since marriage protections will not be in place to ensure that he or she receives any assets. The same situation can play out after the birth of a child or a grandchild.

However, additions and subtractions to the family are not the only reasons to seek a will modification or the creation of a new will. One may acquire new assets that require addressing in the document. On the other hand, one might lose some assets that are accounted for in the will. These latter items should be removed from an estate plan. In addition, there may be instances where one wants to take someone out of their will or modify what he or she is to receive upon death. In these instances, a will modification will be necessary to effectuate those changes.

Estate planning, when handled correctly, can be of tremendous importance to an estate and the loved ones left behind. One can provide for their family long after they are gone, whether that be financially or sentimentally. Either way, in order to ensure that an estate is passed on in accordance with one's wishes, they will need to make sure they are keeping estate planning documents as up-to-date as possible.

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