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What happens if an estate plan is out of date?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2023 | Estate Planning

When did you make your estate plans? It may be so long ago that you’re having a hard time putting a date on it. If it’s been that long, then it may be out-of-date.

While an estate plan doesn’t expire, an out-of-date estate plan could cause issues for your executor and your heirs.

Some people will tell you that you should update your estate plan every two to three years. While that is a good general rule to go by, sometimes you need to do it before that. Here are some reasons why:

To protect your entitlement to Medi-Cal benefits

Gaining assets could affect your entitlement to Medi-Cal benefits so you may need to look at ways to minimize your estate’s value by transferring assets to people or moving some into a trust. Remember Medi-Cal has an extensive look-back period so you cannot afford to put such revisions off.

Changes in your family life

Many people update their estate plans after marriage. They may name their spouse as the main beneficiary of the estate so the distribution process is easier for everyone.

You may also wish to update your estate plan if you have new grandchildren. You could create a generation-skipping trust that puts aside assets for grandchildren. You could even put restrictions on this trust so the assets could only be used to plan for a wedding or pay for student loans, for example.

If you are unsure whether you need to update your estate plan, reach out for legal help to learn about your options.