Your life is inevitably changing from one year to the next, so it goes without saying that your estate plan needs to change as well. While there are some trusts that are irrevocable, wills are not static. For this reason, it is important that you periodically perform a review of your trust and will. It is recommended for individuals to evaluate their estate planning documents every few years and after any major life change. Here is a look at three situations that require an update.
Changing of Your Marital Status
If you have an existing will, certain terms of it can be invalidated when you get married. Therefore, it is imperative that you update your will after you walk down the aisle. Individuals who dissolve their marriage should also take a look at their estate plan as well as any beneficiaries on their pension plans, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts. Some people think that the finalization of a divorce will automatically change financial arrangements, but it does not, which is why you must make the necessary changes on your own.
Acquiring a Significant Asset
Maybe you and your spouse just purchased a home together or you or your spouse recently inherited a large piece of land. Regardless of the situation, it is imperative that you review your estate plan and have it updated after any major asset is acquired. Even if you have no intention of keeping the asset for some time, life can be unpredictable sometimes, and you need to ensure that you are prepared.
In the event that something were to happen to you and your spouse while your children were still alive and young, do you know who would take care of them? Who would be their guardian? Who would you trust? This is where a will comes in, as parents are able to designate a guardian for their children. An estate law attorney can also work out other financial and legal arrangements to ensure that your children will continue to be provided for after you have passed away.
There are a number of circumstances that require an update to a will or trust, which is why it is crucial that you review your estate plan periodically. If you currently do not have an estate plan, it is time to get one. If you have any questions, consult with an estate attorney in your area for help.