Life change usually means estate plan updates.
You have an estate plan.
Maybe you created one when you turned 18 to ensure you were covered as you stepped into your future.
Perhaps you did not create your estate plan until you were married or had a baby.
The fact is you took the steps to create a legally binding estate plan.
According to a recent Bankrate article titled “Estate planning triggers: When to re-evaluate your estate planning strategy,” keeping your estate plan current is as important as its initial creation.
This means you should be reviewing your estate plan with your estate planning attorney every few years.
You also need to review your plan after certain life triggers.
What are they?
Finances and future plans are important discussions to have before you tie the knot.
As you merge your lives, you need to update your estate plan to account for your spouse.
If you decide to keep things fairly separate, you may want to set up a prenuptial agreement.
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney will help you create a plan to satisfy both of you.
Remember, you need to be represented by separate attorneys for the prenup to be good to go.
If you have children, you need to plan for their care should the be orphaned.
Do they receive any of your assets?
If yes, how much, when, and how?
Does the inheritance need to be protected "from" or "for" them ... or perhaps both?
What happens if you and your spouse both die?
Who will rear your children?
Nominating guardians in a last will and testament ensures your children are reardd by a person of your choice rather than someone appointed by the court.
Divorces are not pleasant and can often be messy.
Not updating your estate plan certainly can make this even messier.
For example, if you do not update your beneficiary designations on a life insurance plan, your ex-spouse could receive these funds.
Retirement may be the first time you look at your 401k or your Roth IRA accounts in years.
Chances are much has changed.
Be sure to review and update beneficiary designation on the accounts.
By the way, the same thing goes as with life insurance and an ex-spouse inheriting.
Was this an exhaustive list?
It named but a few major life events.
There are plenty more.
You should also review your assets if you move, have a significant increase or decrease in wealth, someone named in your plan dies or becomes disabled, tax laws are reformed, or your number of living children change.
Set up a time to meet with your estate planning attorney to ensure your plan meets your current situation.
Reference: Bankrate (March 4, 2019) “Estate planning triggers: When to re-evaluate your estate planning strategy”