Estate planning is not a one-and-done process. Life changes all the time, so estate plans must change too. Anytime is a good time to update your estate plan, but you should make updates when you have big life changes. Here are a few events that should prompt you to visit with your lawyer about making alterations:
Your family grows
As your family changes, so should your estate plan. New babies or marriages may mean that you should add beneficiaries to make sure that your beloved child, grandchild or in-law is included.
You or a loved one gets divorced
Just like when someone gets married and you want to include the new family member, you may also want to take people out of your will when divorce happens. You may not want your ex-wife to get your house anymore, or maybe your daughter’s husband is no longer in the picture and you don’t feel right about leaving him as a beneficiary.
Someone featured in your estate plan passes
In the sad event that a loved one dies, you may need to update your will or trust. If you had someone as a beneficiary or an executor, or featured elsewhere in your estate plan, you will need to direct those responsibilities elsewhere.
You move to another state
Every state has different laws that apply to estate planning and taxes. Moving is a great time to look back on your will or trust. Ask your lawyer to review your documents and ensure that they are up to date with your new state’s laws. Look over the decisions that you made when you created your plan and consider if you would like to keep them, or if it’s time to make a change.
You gain or get rid of assets
As your estate changes, so should your estate plan. If you buy new property, build a house, get a boat or a new car or start a business, you should be adding them into your plan. In the same way, if you sell or get rid of assets you should take them out. Keep your will or trust as up to date with your current estate as possible.
It’s always smart to have your estate plan in the back of your mind. Keeping it up to date helps to ensure that the process after your passing is as easy as possible for your loved ones and that your decisions are carried out.