3 Great Reasons to Review your Estate Plan
The best estate planning attorneys advise heir clients that estate plans should be reviewed every 3 to 5 years and after any major life events. All estate planning documents should be reviewed and not just the will.
Estate plans the offer the most protection for an estate will include a will, a durable power of attorney for finances, a revocable living trust, a healthcare power of attorney and a living will. Some estates may also include a business plan for after the owner passes, life insurance or retirement plans.
There are many reasons to review your estate plan, but we will take a look at the top three.
This is probably the most important reason to review and update your estate plan. Your former spouse should be removed from all documents…ideally as soon as your divorce was final… and your new spouse should be added where appropriate. You will also want to be sure that your children from earlier marriages are properly provided for in your will or trust.
Common law spouses or domestic partners must be named in an estate plan in order to receive a portion of their partners estate.
Having second thoughts about the guardian you have chosen for your children? Update your estate plan as soon as you can. Consider naming a successor guardian as well, in case your chosen guardian is incapable at some point in the future.
If you have recently had a baby, or adopted a child, add them to your plan as soon as possible.
Beneficiaries with Special Needs
Do any of your beneficiaries have special, or changed, needs that you want to address in your estate plan? They may have recently developed a serious illness and you wish to provide for the care of that beneficiary after you’re gone.
Additionally, if one of your beneficiaries passes away you will want to make the necessary updates to your estate plan.
The reasons for updating your estate plan are many. You will most likely acquire more assets as you age and those need to be added to your estate plan too.
The point here is to keep your estate plan front of mind so that any changes in your family will cause you to think through your estate plan to identify the revisions you will want to make in response.
Take a moment to read through this article for more reasons to update your estate plan.