Modify your Estate Plan after These 10 Changes in Your Kids’ Lives

When creating an estate plan, ensuring that your children are taken care of is likely high on your priority list. Your original plan may have been set up to allow for a smooth estate administration and the passing of your assets to your kids in the manner that you wanted. However, life circumstances change. The Orange County estate plan that you created just a few years ago may no longer be the perfect fit. It is not always immediately obvious that this would be the case, however. Fortunately, a knowledgeable Anaheim estate planning lawyer can analyze your family situation and existing plan in order to identify a potential need for revisions.

How might changes in life circumstances impact your estate plan? The following are 10 common examples:

  1. If there are changes to your kids’ basic information, your documents should be updated to avoid confusion. This may include their addresses and names. 
  2. If a child who is named as an executor, trustee, or agent in your estate plan has since moved, you may want to reconsider whether it still makes sense for them to serve in these roles. In some cases, it may be a better fit for your family if someone local serves instead.
  3. If a child is in the beginning stages of a divorce, you may want to change the timing and amounts of assets she is currently set to receive under your revocable trust.
  4. Similarly, if the child is struggling with another life hurdle, such as a substance abuse problem, you may want to adjust the timing, amounts, and control over his distributions, or consider setting up a special trust designed for this purpose.
  5. If you have made a substantial gift to a child, you may want to adjust his or share of your estate.
  6. If a child has since given birth to your grandchild, you may want to add a new beneficiary.
  7. If you no longer have any minor children, you no longer need to appoint guardians for their care.
  8. If your children are now adults, you may want to consider changing your trustee appointments.
  9. If your children are now adults, it may be time to discuss your options with regard to distributions. For example, you may wish to give them their inheritance outright and free of trust.
  10. If a child has expressed an interest in an item of your personal property, you may want to update your Orange County Will to make sure that the child receives this item when you pass.

The reasons for modifying an existing estate plan are numerous. To learn more about what you should consider when deciding whether you need to amend your estate plan, view our free pamphlet, The Ten Things You Must Know Before Creating (or Amending) Your Will or Trust. Our office of experienced Anaheim estate planning attorneys can provide further guidance. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm