Why You Need To Update Your Will or Trust Over Time

Hello there, blog followers and visitors. My name is Bridget Mackay. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, California, and I practice in the area of estate planning and probate and trust administration.

Today, I’m going talk about, why do you still need the services that an estate planning attorney once your will or your trust is finished? People often go to get their affairs in order, then place these documents, whether it’s a will or a trust and those supporting documents, in a safety deposit box or a drawer or, unfortunately if you’re like me, in my spare room, and never to be seen or needed again, or they don’t bring it out until it’s needed. And that can be a serious mistake indeed. It is important actually to have a periodic review of your documents by a qualified estate planning attorney, particularly after life-changing events like a divorce, a marriage, marriage of your children, you having children, your children having children, changes in relationships with loved ones, changes in assets, and any kind of physical or mental changes in a loved one or yourself.

If you have a trust, it is a dynamic document that should be reviewed; I would suggest every five years in the very least. You will especially need the guidance of a qualified attorney if a trustor, the person who makes the trust, wants to resign as trustee, because you wanna meet with someone to make sure that transition is smooth to the successor trustee. The same is true if a trustor becomes mentally or physically incapacitated and can’t manage their affairs. This leads to a variety of questions in families, and concerns for the trustor, and what’s gonna happen if they’re married, and the children, all of which can be addressed by an estate planning attorney. Once your will or trust is complete, it’s easy to think you’re done with the services of an estate planning attorney, but this is typically not true. Just as our lives evolve, so do the terms of our trust, and so do our assets. So it’s important you rely on the expertise of an estate planning attorney to help you along the way as life present changes for you.

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