Updating Your Estate Plan: When and Why to Consult Your Attorney

Estate planning is a vital process that evolves alongside your life,  adapting to new personal circumstances, changes in Arizona laws, and shifts in financial landscapes. Regular consultations with an estate planning attorney ensure that your plan remains effective, legally compliant, and in harmony with your current intentions.

Here’s why and when these updates are particularly crucial.

Estate planning

Major Life Events

Major life events significantly affect our lives, altering our relationships, financial status, and future goals. These milestones, whether joyous or challenging, necessitate revisiting our estate plans to ensure they reflect our current circumstances and intentions.

Updating your estate plan during these times is crucial for protecting your legacy and ensuring the well-being of your loved ones as your life story evolves.

When to Update

Significant life milestones necessitate a review and possible update of your estate plan. Marriage, divorce, the arrival of new family members, the loss of a loved one, substantial financial changes, and relocations are pivotal events. These moments can alter your relationships, financial dynamics, and even your wishes regarding your legacy, requiring your estate plan to evolve accordingly.

Why Consult an Attorney

An experienced estate planning attorney can guide you through revising your estate plan in light of these changes. They can ensure that new family members are included, protect your assets through a divorce, and adjust your plan to reflect changes in your personal connections. Their expertise ensures that your estate plan remains a true reflection of your wishes, even as your life changes.

Changes in Law

Legal landscapes are constantly evolving, with changes in laws and regulations that can impact estate planning strategies and outcomes. Staying informed and adaptive to these changes is essential for ensuring your estate plan remains effective and compliant.

Adjusting your plan in response to new legal frameworks helps protect your assets and ensures your wishes are executed as intended, safeguarding your legacy against unforeseen legal challenges.

When to Update

Estate planning laws, including tax regulations, are subject to change. These alterations can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your current estate plan. Being proactive and updating your plan in response to new laws is crucial to safeguarding your assets and ensuring your wishes are carried out as intended.

Why Consult an Attorney

Staying informed about relevant legal changes can be challenging. An estate planning attorney, well-versed in the latest laws and how they affect estate planning strategies, can provide invaluable guidance. They can help you navigate these changes, ensuring your estate plan takes advantage of new laws while maintaining compliance and minimizing tax liabilities.

Financial Shifts

Financial shifts, whether gains or losses, directly influence your estate planning needs and strategies. Significant changes in your financial situation, such as acquiring assets or experiencing a decrease in wealth, necessitate a review and update of your estate plan.

Adapting your plan to reflect your current financial landscape ensures that your assets are protected and distributed according to your most recent wishes, maintaining the integrity of your legacy amidst financial changes.

When to Update

Your estate plan should reflect your current financial situation. Acquiring significant assets, such as buying a home or receiving an inheritance, or experiencing a decrease in wealth, demands adjustments to your estate plan. These changes can affect how you wish to distribute your assets and may introduce new considerations for asset protection and tax planning.

Why Consult an Attorney

An attorney can offer strategic advice on adjusting your estate plan to reflect your new financial status. Whether it’s updating your will, restructuring trusts, or exploring new estate planning tools, an attorney ensures these changes are made effectively. Their expertise in tax law and asset protection can also help maximize the benefits of your estate for your beneficiaries.

Estate planning

Health Changes

Health changes, whether in your own life or a beneficiary’s, demand immediate attention in your estate planning. These alterations can impact decisions around care preferences, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.

Updating your estate plan to account for these health changes ensures that your wishes regarding medical treatment and care for yourself and your loved ones are clearly documented and respected, preserving your well-being and autonomy during critical times.

When to Update

Changes in your health or a beneficiary’s health can have significant implications for your estate plan. Such changes might necessitate modifications to your living will, healthcare proxy, or power of attorney, ensuring that your health care wishes are clearly documented and that provisions for your care, or that of your beneficiaries, are adequately addressed.

Why Consult an Attorney

Estate planning attorneys can assist in updating your estate plan to account for these health changes, ensuring that your documents accurately reflect your current wishes regarding medical treatment and care. They can also help navigate the complex interplay between health care directives and other estate planning instruments, ensuring a cohesive plan that addresses all aspects of your well-being.

Review and Maintenance

Regular review and maintenance of your estate plan are essential practices to ensure it accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances. This ongoing process allows for the identification and correction of any outdated information or strategies, ensuring your estate plan remains robust, compliant, and capable of achieving your desired legacy outcomes.

Periodic checks, help adapt to life’s inevitable changes and legal shifts, safeguarding your assets and the well-being of your loved ones.

When to Update

A regular review of your estate plan, recommended every three to five years, ensures that it accurately reflects your current wishes, circumstances, and the legal landscape. This periodic check is crucial even if you believe nothing significant has changed, as it can uncover potential issues or opportunities for optimization you might not have considered.

Why Consult an Attorney

During these reviews, an estate planning attorney can identify any aspects of your plan that may no longer be optimal or effective due to changes in your life, the law, or your financial situation. They can also suggest updates to take advantage of new estate planning strategies or tools that could benefit you and your heirs. Regular maintenance with a professional ensures that your estate plan continues to serve its intended purpose efficiently and effectively.


Your estate plan is dynamic, requiring updates to reflect changes in your life, the law, and your finances. Consulting with an estate planning attorney ensures that your plan remains aligned with your current wishes, offering peace of mind that your legacy will be protected and your loved ones cared for according to your intentions.

An up-to-date estate plan is the cornerstone of a well-managed legacy, ensuring that your wishes are honored and your assets are distributed as you desire.


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