Update Your Trust

Clearly if you win the lottery you should update your California revocable trust, right!?  Likewise, if you get divorced you should update your estate plan… and fast, right!? Are there other times you should be reviewing and possibly updating your plan?  Yes, there are a long list and some things are more obvious than others.  However, I want to focus today on a couple of specific problem areas that may cause the need for updates.

First let’s list the basic times that an estate plan should be reviewed:

– Win the lottery or other major monetary change (inheritance for example);

– Divorce or marriage;

– Kids are born or die;

– Grandkids;

– Assets change;

– Move to a new state;

– Law changes;

I am sure there are more but you get the idea. Beyond that you should review it every 5 years. However, the bigger concern to me is people that get trusts done by a trust mill, paralegal, on-line, stationary store, or inexperienced attorney. Those people should review, and probably update, their estate plans NOW!  The problem with these type of documents is they often have problems. They often have problems which can create probate, income taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes, unnecessary trust funding, distributing money to people who aren’t old enough, and the list goes on.

If you did not have your trust prepared by a California Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law I would encourage you to find one to review your plan. Updates are not always required but often at least little tweaks are advised.  Plus, it’s a good opportunity for you to review your assets and confirm they are owned by your trust properly.

Contact me if you would like a review. -John

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