Major life changes mean you should update your estate plan.
You have a will, revocable living trust or both.
You created it years ago.
You should be good to go, right?
According to a recent The FDL Reporter article titled “Best reasons to update estate plans include marriage, divorce, move, birth,” certain life events require revisiting your estate plan.
What are they?
If you were recently married, your estate plan require updating.
Your state of residency has laws regarding how marital property is distributed or divided after your death.
Naturally, you need to make changes should you divorce.
Chances are you do not want your ex-spouse inheriting your assets.
You probably do not want your ex to have authority to make financial or medical decisions for you either.
Did you receive a large inheritance?
Perhaps you won the lottery?
Maybe you received a promotion or your business grew exponentially.
As your estate increases, you need to update your estate plan accordingly.
What if you fell on hard times and your estate has decreased in value?
You will also need to review your estate plan so it aligns with your current circumstances.
Births or Deaths
Did you have a baby or adopt a child?
You will want to include your child in your estate plan.
Selecting a guardian should something happen to you and your spouse is also vital.
Did your fiduciary or a beneficiary die?
You need to nominate a new fiduciary and revise your legal documents to reflect the loss of your loved one.
Changing states means you will need to update your estate plan.
Different states have different tax and estate planning laws.
Your current plan may satisfy the federal requirements, but it must also align with the laws of your state of residence.
Passing of time
How you distribute assets to minors will differ from those of adults.
If your children are older, you may want to update your inheritance planning.
You may even want to include them as responsible parties in your estate plan.
To determine the changes you need to make at this time in your life, work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: FDL Reporter (April 24, 2018) “Best reasons to update estate plans include marriage, divorce, move, birth”