An estate plan isn’t a “set it and forget it” arrangement. Major life changes may affect or even nullify some of the conditions in your plan, so it’s important to maintain it well. Any time you experience a major life change, it should be a signal to connect with your attorney to discuss updates. Here are six life events that may require you to make revisions to your estate plan.
1) You have children.
Any time you add children to your family, whether biologically or through adoption, it’s important to adjust your estate plan to account for the new child. You may want to specify guardianship or inheritance stipulations. Additionally, if your children get married and bring in-laws into your family, you may want to review your plan at that time as well.
2) Your relationship status changes.
If you get married or if your marriage ends, it’s necessary to review your estate plan to account for the change in relationship. Also, consider updating your healthcare power of attorney in the event of a divorce if your former spouse previously filled this role.
3) Your net worth fluctuates.
You cannot count on those left behind to distribute your assets the way you would have, so make sure you specify these details in your will. If your net worth has increased, discuss the creation of a trust with your attorney if it applies to your situation.
4) You become ill or disabled.
In cases where your physical health has been altered, it may be prudent to evaluate your end-of-life wishes and specify these wishes as a part of your estate plan.
5) You move, especially if you move across state lines.
States have varying laws which may affect your estate plan. After moving to a new location, set up a consultation with an attorney in your new state to review your estate plan. Ask if you’ll need to make any revisions and make necessary changes to ensure its ongoing efficacy.
6) A beneficiary and/or guardian is no longer part of your life.
Whether a parent has passed away, a long-time friend moved to another state, or you have married or divorced, there are many reasons to review your beneficiaries and/or guardians so they represent the people currently in your life.
There are many different situations that may influence the specifics of your estate plan, not just those listed above. If you have any question about whether your most recent life change may require an update to your will, contact your attorney. At Wagstaff Law Office, we would be happy to discuss your estate plan needs with you. Contact us online or give us a call at (727) 584-8182 to schedule a consultation.