Your estate plan is an important set of documents that will help protect your assets today, and ensure they are distributed according to your wishes when the time comes. While estate plans will remain in effect as long as necessary, they should not simply be created and forgotten about. There are many events in your life that should prompt you to update your estate plan to reflect your new situation.
If you get married, you will almost certainly want to update your estate plan. You will likely need to add in your new spouse as a beneficiary so that they are taken care of should you pass away. If your new spouse has any children already, you may want to include decisions about them as well. You may want to add them to your estate plan, or specifically ensure that only your biological children are included, depending on your situation.
Getting a Divorce
On the opposite end of things, if you get a divorce you will want to make sure that your updated estate plan removes your ex as a beneficiary. Your divorce will also likely have a big impact on all of your assets, so changes will need to be made to accurately reflect your current estate.
Moving to a New State
Many people decide to retire to a different state than they had lived in for most of their life. If you decide to move across state lines, your estate plan will need to be updated. Different states will have different laws, which will impact your estate plan. You will also need to update the plan to reflect the fact that you sold a home that was included, and possibly that your purchased a new one.
Major Changes to Assets
If you have had any major changes to the assets that you own, you will need to have them updated in your estate plan. For example, if you inherit property, a large sum of money, or anything else of significant value, you will need to update your plan. On the opposite side of things, if you are able to eliminate any major debts that you owe, it may be a good idea to update your plan so that other assets are not allocated to paying that debt off after you die.
Adjusting Trustees or Executors
You hopefully put a lot of thought into deciding who would be the executor of your estate, and who would be named as the trustee of any trusts you have set up. As those people age, move, or pass away, it may no longer make sense to have them listed. Review all of your trustees and executors annual to see if you still want them listed.
Changes to Laws
The laws that impact your estate plan are anything but static. If there have been any significant changes to laws that impact your estate plan, including tax laws, it is a good idea to review the plan and update it if needed.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you have had any of the above-mentioned events take place, or it has just been a while since you have updated your estate plan, we are here to help. Contact Bashirah Martin, Attorney at Law to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to discuss your situation and help ensure your estate plan reflects your current wishes.