To some, creating an estate plan seems like a monumental task. Even after they get over the fact of having to consider their own mortality, many Californians struggle to decide how to distribute their assets.
While a competent estate planning attorney can help these individuals create and effectively utilize estate planning tools likes wills and trusts, this is not the end of estate planning. Sure, an individual should feel a certain amount of relief and accomplishment once a plan is finalized, but in order to bring his or her vision for the future into reality, he or she will have to diligently reassess his or her estate plan when needed.
A revisiting of an estate plan may be appropriate in many circumstances. For example, when new property is acquired, an individual may want to consider how it is owned. If owned outright, then the individual will need to specify how it is to be distributed upon passing.
A more efficient way of handling real property, though, is to own it jointly with another. Therefore, when the time comes full ownership of the property will pass to the survivor. Of course, this is not a viable option in every situation, which is why it should be carefully considered when creating or revisiting an estate plan.
An estate plan might need to be revisited when new accounts are acquired or the way one wants to distribute those accounts has changed. This is especially true when an account has a beneficiary designation. Those who fail to update these designations often have their assets pass to individuals they no longer wish to control them.
There are a whole host of things to consider even after an estate plan is created. Major life changes life divorce, marriage, births, and deaths can all justify an estate plan modification, and logistical considerations such as where to keep estate plan documents are critical. Fortunately, competent estate planning attorneys stand ready to assist Californians with every aspect of this process, thereby providing a sense of ease and comfort.