My friend just modified her estate plan. Should I?

Your friend may have recently made modifications to her will, created a new trust, or named a new durable power of attorney. She talked to you about it as she considered her decisions, and what she said made a lot of sense. It had you thinking about your own estate plan and if it was time to make some changes.

Your Friend’s Situation May Be Different

Whether or not you make changes to your own estate plan should depend on your unique needs. You should make those changes completely independent of what your friend does or does not do.

Here are things you should consider before modifying your trust or will:

  • Has your family situation changed? A marriage, birth, divorce, or death could result in a need for estate plan modifications.
  • Has there been a change to your work or financial situation? This could result in tax implications, and you may need to modify your estate plan.
  • Have the laws changed? If there have been recent changes to federal or California laws that effect your estate plan, you might want to make changes.
  • How recently you changed your estate plan. This may or may not be relevant since there are no hard and fast rules as to how often you should make changes. However, if you modified your estate plan very recently and your personal situation has not changed then you may not need to make further modifications that this time.
  • Is there is a benefit to changing your estate plan now? This is the ultimate consideration. If there is a benefit to modifying your estate plan then you should take action to do so.

While your decision about whether or not to modify your estate plan should be independent of your friend’s decision, it’s always good to consider timely changes. We encourage you to help your other friends consider their own estate plans by sharing this frequently asked question on Facebook or Twitter, and reading the related links on this page for more information.