Changes in life require changes to estate plans.
You have an estate plan.
Your affairs are in order according to your wishes.
You can now sit back satisfied until you die.
According to a recent Thrive Global article titled “7 Reasons Why You Need to Review your Will Right Now,” your estate plan is not a fix-it-and-forget-it part of life.
Life brings many changes.
Some of these changes demand an updated estate plan.
What are they?
New people enter our lives all the time.
Loved ones get married.
Children and grandchildren are born.
As the love in your life grows to cover new people, be sure your estate plan covers them as well.
The death of people in your life.
The death of a spouse or other beneficiary or agent named in your estate plan requires updates.
You cannot leave assets to someone already deceased.
Similarly, someone who has passed away will not be able to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
Visit your estate planning attorney to fix this without delay.
Divorce in the family.
If you and your spouse get divorced, you will likely want to keep your ex from getting your assets.
[Big assumption on my part, I know.]
Similarly, if your child divorces his or her spouse, you will want to protect your assets from nasty divorce proceedings if at all possible.
[Another big assumption on my part.]
Children reaching adulthood.
The rules regarding how children and adults inherit is quite different.
The legal dependency of a child and the actual financial maturity of a young adult should be carefully considered and updates should be made accordingly.
After all, some folks have children who become economic adults and others have children who just keep having more birthdays.
Financial situation changes.
You could get a raise and suddenly have more money.
This could require a different structure for tax purposes.
If you suddenly lose money, you may need to reconsider how to protect your family in the case of sudden loss.
Be sure to review your life and disability insurance, too.
You change your mind.
Sometimes your ideas and goals change.
When this happens, you will want to make your legal documents reflect your new wishes.
Whether the reasons be personal like those listed above or external like revised tax and estate law, you will want to review your estate plan regularly with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Reference: Thrive Global (June 17, 2019) “7 Reasons Why You Need to Review your Will Right Now”