Palm Springs Law Blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Life Events that Call for an Update on Your Estate Plan

An estate plan is a set of legal documents that describe an individual’s wishes for what will happen following their death. These documents typically discuss the distribution of their assets, wealth, and personal belongings after they pass away.

Creating an estate plan is an important step for everyone, regardless of economic status. But it is equally important to review and revise the plan periodically.

Updating your estate plan ensures that it reflects any changes in your life circumstances or wishes. When you need to update your estate plan, you should speak with a skilled estate planning attorney. Some of the most common examples of life events that call for an updated estate plan include the following:

Marriage or Divorce

Beginning or ending a marriage is a significant life event. You should review your estate plan following a marriage or divorce.

After getting married, a person may want to name their new spouse as a beneficiary. The estate holder may want to assign them a specific role in the management of their assets.

Following a divorce, a person may want to remove their former spouse from the estate plan. The estate holder might decide to revise their beneficiaries and designations as well.

Birth or Adoption

The birth or adoption of a child is another important event that requires a review of your estate plan. Most parents want to include their children as beneficiaries.

You can also name a guardian or trustee to manage any assets that the child would inherit. The trustee will be able to oversee the assets until the child is of age.

Death of a Beneficiary

The death of a beneficiary, such as a spouse, may prompt an update of your estate plan. When someone dies, you may need to revise your listed beneficiaries to reflect that change.

Having an updated plan helps ensure that the assets are distributed appropriately.

Change in Financial Circumstances

A significant change in your financial circumstances may require you to update your plan. Some of the most common examples of significant financial changes include:

  • The acquisition or sale of property
  • Acquisition or loss of a business
  • Changes in income
  • Changes in debt

After any of these changes, you may need to change your named beneficiaries, trustees, or executors. Also, you may want to change the terms of any trusts or donations named in the plan.


When you retire, you might need to designate a trustee or executor. These estate managers can help manage your assets and make decisions in the event of your incapacity or death.


Moving to a new state may prompt a review and update of your estate plan documents. Each state has its own laws and regulations that are relevant to estate planning and probate. Your plan may need to be updated to reflect the statutes of your new state of residence.

To update your estate plan to reflect California laws, consult with a knowledgeable Palm Springs attorney.

Changes in Personal Wishes

Over the course of your life, you may change your mind about what you want to happen following your death. The changes in your personal wishes may call for an estate plan update.

For example, you might decide to:

  • Adjust the terms of a trust
  • Add or remove beneficiaries
  • Alter the distribution plan for your assets

There are many life events that call for a review and update of your estate planning documents. When you need estate planning services, reach out to the skilled Palm Springs, CA, lawyers at Heritage Legal. Our team will provide you with a free consultation to discuss your estate planning needs.

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