When Should You Update Your Living Trust and Will

When Should You Update Your Living Trust and Will It’s no secret that creating a Living Trust and Will is not most people’s idea of a fun time. However, it’s essential to the strength of your estate plan, the control of your assets, and the protection of your loved ones.

For your Living Trust and Will to best serve you, it’s important to make sure they remain up-to-date. This means updating them on an as-needed basis to ensure that your assets remain protected according to your wishes. But, when should you update your Living Trust and Will? Our legal team at Dana and Associates is here to explain.

Why Revise a Living Trust?

Your Living Trust — also known as a Revocable Trust — can be changed or canceled at any point during the trustor’s lifetime. With that being said, it should be revised to reflect any recent change in life circumstances. Oftentimes, this involves making changes to your list of beneficiaries or addressing a domestic matter.

Here are some of the most common reasons to update your Living Trust:

  • Wedding or divorce
  • Change in residency status
  • Change in financial status
  • Either a trustee’s or beneficiary’s death
  • New tax laws that impact the Trust’s assets

When Should You Update Your Living Trust and WillA good rule of thumb is to update your Trust every 3-5 years to accurately reflect your current assets. Keeping your Living Trust up to date is a crucial step in preventing your loved ones from dealing with a lengthy probate process.

When You Should Update Your Will

Your Last Will and Testament defines how to distribute your assets, names the legal guardians of your children, and appoints a personal representative. You write your Last Will and Testament while you are still alive, then the executor of the estate carries out your wishes once you have passed.

Like a Living Trust, there are several prominent life events that would constitute updating your Will:

  • A change in tax law impacts your estate
  • You inherit assets from friends or family
  • Selling or buying a business
  • Retirement
  • Selling or buying real estate
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Financial setbacks
  • Birth of a child or grandchild
  • The addition of new in-laws to your family
  • Death of a spouse, child, or grandchild
  • Unforeseen medical costs or expenses
  • Moving to a new state

Any of the above changes in life circumstances will impact your Last Will and Testament. If you don’t update your Will accordingly, you risk the probate courts deciding how to handle your assets after your death. This often results in your assets not being distributed the way you might have wished them to be.

Top Estate Planning Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ

Estate planning can be an overwhelming, lengthy, and confusing process. That’s where we come in. Rather than attempting to navigate your estate plan on your own, let us do the tough stuff for you. We work to simplify the estate planning process for our clients to help you determine what works best for you.

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