Here is a universal truth: life never stops changing and evolving. This particular principle is especially true when it comes to reviewing and updating your estate plan. Important events in your life can entirely alter your financial and familial dynamic. However, when you take the time to look over your estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney in San Diego, you can incorporate more accommodations that will benefit your entire family.
Here are six reasons why you need to review your estate plan periodically:
Reason #1 — Updating Your Beneficiary Designations
Many estate planning attorneys will advise that you regularly update your list of beneficiaries. Why? Your family is constantly growing and changing, which means that you will need to reconsider your beneficiary designations. Life events that can prompt this type of change include marriage, death, divorce, and childbearing. Beneficiary designations work hand in hand with your overall estate plan and help ensure that your plan actually works as intended, so it’s important to make sure your designations stay up to date and in coordination with your overall plan as it evolves.
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Reason #2 — Making Changes To Your Asset Management Strategy
You should always review the assets you acquire in your lifetime and determine exactly how you want to manage them. These acquisitions can include many different things, such as real estate, private equity, stock holdings, and more. You should routinely sit down with your financial advisor and estate planning attorney and go over new strategies for maintaining your assets, especially if there is a drastic change to your estate valuation or any time you near the federal estate tax exemption.
Reason #3 — Updating Trusts
Living trusts are among the most critical components of your estate plan — they allow you to transfer and distribute your assets without any interference from our legal system. When you look over your estate plan, you may realize that the terms are no longer applicable to your current situation, which is why you will likely benefit from restructuring your trust. As an example, you will likely have very different wishes for how to manage funds in the trust when your children are minors compared to when your children are grown adults and productive members of society. Reviewing and updating your trust can make sure that your trust evolves as your family does and that you always have the most effective tax strategies in play for your family.
Reason #4 — Reducing Your Tax Liability
Lawmakers are consistently updating state and federal tax laws, which can greatly affect your estate plan. For many, one of the most significant benefits of having a plan in the first place is to minimize the amount of estate taxes that your family owes. You may want to consider implementing new tax-saving strategies, especially during election seasons. Even looking beyond the federal estate tax, you always want to make sure that your family is set up the best way possible in terms of capital gains and property tax planning as well. As an example, if you planned to leave one house to each child in the past, Proposition 19 in California may have a drastic effect on that plan. Due to changes in property tax reassessments, you may find your existing plan is not very equitable or in line with your family goals, so you want to make sure your plan is updated to reflect those changes.
Reason #5 — You Recently Changed Your Mind
If you have a sudden change of heart, you can make changes to your plan at any time. Even though redoing parts or all of the paperwork will cost you some time and money, it’s necessary to keep your plan in line with your current wishes. We try to put as many “what ifs” into our plans to protect against the need to update your plan too often, but if you do have a change of heart as it relates to a major portion of your plan, an update may be the best thing to do. For example, if you are adamant that you have to add or remove a beneficiary, you shouldn’t hesitate to do so.
Reason #6 — An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Will Offer Recommendations
When you visit your attorney, they will inform you about any changes to the law that can affect your estate plan. They can also offer you advice on how you can improve your asset management strategy based on your current situation. Ultimately, consulting an attorney will prove to be incredibly beneficial — they can ensure that your plan is consistent with the law while also helping you maximize the value of your estate. Working with an experienced professional will also help lift the overwhelming feeling of estate planning and make the whole process a lot less burdensome, allowing you to focus on the things that really matter.
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Are you searching for an attorney that provides reliable estate planning services? Here at Jenkins & Jenkins in San Diego, we can help you get started. We ensure that Californians can create a plan that remains current with their situation no matter the changes in their lives. Ultimately, we want to help you prepare for the future, preserve your legacy, and provide financial protection for your family. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.
Testimonial from Gordon, Satisfied Estate Planning Client in San Diego
Caroline Jenkins and staff helped me with a trust that included estate planning, medical directive and power of attorney documents. Caroline listens, provides guidance and explains things in terms you can understand. Caroline is always available by phone and email to answer questions. I have never had to wait for a call back from her. She is friendly, warm and cares about her clients.