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It’s 2024. It’s Time to Make Sure Your Estate Plan Is Up to Date

In the new year, people tend to feel the need to get their lives together or more in order. You may resolve to work out more regularly, eat better, or get your finances straight. Regardless of your other new year “to-dos” or resolutions, checking in on your estate plan should be on your list.

If you need assistance updating your estate plan, do not hesitate to meet with an estate planning attorney. An experienced lawyer can help ensure your estate planning documents are up to date and meet state law requirements. 

Estate Plans Require Regular Maintenance and Updates

Suppose you’ve already created your estate plan — congratulations! That’s a big accomplishment. However, many individuals don’t realize that estate plans are not “create it and forget it” things. Instead, you should regularly review your estate plan and make any necessary changes. 

Having an up-to-date estate plan is key. Should your estate planning documents contain wrong or outdated information, when you or your loved ones need them, it could pose a challenge.

Ensuring your estate planning documents are up to date, including your will, trust(s), and powers of attorney, can save you and your loved ones plenty of time and frustration in the future. 

New Year Often Means Change — Updating Your Estate Plan

New years often represent change. Therefore, the new year is a perfect time to read over your estate planning documents and consider whether any changes in the last few months have impacted your documents.

The following are some of the important life changes that could affect your estate plan. 


If you recently moved, more specifically if you moved to a new state, you should look over your estate plan. Every state has varying laws that could impact the validity of your documents.

A local estate planning attorney can thoroughly review your estate planning documents and make any necessary changes. 


The beginning of the year is an ideal time to review your finances. If you’ve experienced a shift in your finances — positive or negative — you should read over your estate plan and make any required changes.

Marital Status

Whether you’re celebrating a recent wedding or grieving the end of your marriage, any significant change could impact your estate plan. You may need to add your new spouse as a beneficiary or exclude an ex-husband or wife from all of your documents. 


Every year, families add and lose important members. If you or a loved one have given birth or adopted a child, you may want to add that new family member to your plans. If you’ve suffered an unfortunate loss, you can remove that individual from your documents. 


Changes in your health should prompt you to revisit your estate plan. Updating your estate plan can include designating healthcare proxies, establishing healthcare directives, and making plans for long-term care. 

This can help ensure your documents align with your needs and wishes and give you and your loved ones peace of mind. 

Ensure Your Estate Plan Is Up to Date With the Help of an Estate Planning Attorney

Determining what modifications your estate plan needs can be challenging. When you need help updating your estate plan, make sure to consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. A lawyer can give you the advice and support you need while using their experience and skills to efficiently adjust your estate planning documents.

The Orange County, CA, estate planning lawyers at OC Wills and Trusts are happy to work with you on your estate plan. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.