A 2024 California Estate Planning Checklist

Jun 5

Estate planning is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” operation. California Estate Planning Attorney Neal E. Bartlett at Island View Law recommends reviewing your estate plan every 3-5 years and sooner if significant life changes occur. If you haven’t reviewed your estate planning in a while, use this 2024 California estate planning checklist to determine if you need to make changes.

When Do I Need to Modify My Estate Plan?

Life happens to everyone, good and bad, and your estate plan should reflect significant changes in your circumstances. After all, we never know what may happen at any given moment, so keeping your estate plan current is critical. Your loved ones will thank you for being proactive and sparing them many costly and time-consuming headaches after you pass away.

Review and make any necessary changes to your estate plan soon after the following:

·        Marriage or divorce

·        Having new children or grandchildren

·        Significant asset gains or losses

·        Career changes

·        Retirement

·        Significant health changes or challenges

·        On the recommendation of your attorney

The Island View Law team can answer specific questions about other times when you should modify your estate plan. Call us with your questions.

Review Your CA Estate Planning

Attorney Neal Bartlett and his team are pleased to sit down and review these estate planning checklist items with you and provide the necessary information.

1.      Review Your Will and Trust: Ensure that your will and trust accurately reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Consider any changes in your family, assets, or preferences that may require updates to these documents.

2.      Assess Your Assets: Take inventory of all your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, business interests, and digital assets. Determine which assets should be placed in a trust to avoid probate.

3.      Evaluate Beneficiaries: Review the designated beneficiaries on your accounts and insurance policies. Ensure that your chosen beneficiaries are up to date and aligned with your current intentions.

4.      Consider a Pour-Over Will: Evaluate the need for a pour-over will, which catches any assets not placed in your trust and ensures they are transferred into the trust to avoid probate.

5.      Plan for Minor Children: If you have minor children, review and update guardianship provisions in your will to ensure the well-being of your children in the event of your passing.

6.      Understand Conservatorship: Familiarize yourself with conservatorship laws in California, especially if you or a family member may require such arrangements in the future.

7.      Stay Informed on Tax Regulations: Stay updated on federal and state tax laws, including any changes to estate and gift tax exemptions, and adjust your estate plan accordingly.

8.      Plan for Incapacity: Consider creating documents such as a power of attorney and advance healthcare directive to outline your preferences for medical care and appoint someone to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

9.      Regular Reviews: Establish a schedule to review your estate plan every 3 to 5 years or more frequently if significant life events occur, such as changes in net worth, family circumstances, or relevant laws.

10.  Seek Legal Counsel: Consider consulting with an experienced California estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan aligns with current laws and best serves your interests and those of your loved ones.

Review Your Estate Plan in 2024

Stay on top of your estate planning in California with Island View Law. If you haven’t reviewed it in a while, 2024 is the time. Contact us at (805) 576-7693 or complete the online form to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. Our Carpinteria, California, office is easy to find and has convenient parking.


© Copyright 2024 Island View Law, P.C., All Rights Reserved.