If you have an estate plan in place, you have taken a critical and crucial step in properly planning for your family’s future. But even if you have an estate plan, you shouldn’t become complacent. Estate plans need to be reviewed and revised from time to time, especially after major life events or changes. Below are four common reasons you should update your estate plan.
New or Lost Family Members
Death and birth are both parts of the cycle of life and affect our plans for the future. The arrival of a new child or grandchild may be cause to make changes to your estate plan, especially your living will. The passing of a loved one who was included in your will or estate plan should also prompt you to make necessary adjustments.
Marriage or Divorce
Spouses normally play a significant role in an estate plan. If you become divorced, married, remarried, or widowed since your estate plan and/or will was established, you should make the essential updates promptly. Be sure to make any needed changes to your beneficiaries as well.
You Move To Another State
Estate planning laws are not instituted on a national level. They vary state by state. If you create your estate plan in one state and then relocate to another, it is imperative to have an experienced local estate planning attorney review your estate plan and make any necessary adjustments. The number of witnesses, spouse inheritance minimums, and the amount of estate taxes due are just a few of the factors that may vary from one state to the next.
You Have Received Significant New Assets
The addition of significant new assets is a very good reason for revisiting your estate plan. You may want to consider a living trust for some or all of the new assets to avoid probate. At a minimum, it is a good idea to discuss your options with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.