Keeping your estate plan updated is just as crucial as creating one in the first place. Unfortunately, many people feel that they can simply create a plan once and then let it go from there. While this may be easier, it is not as effective and may not ensure that your current wishes are honored. Instead, you should consider updating it, or at least reviewing it, any time you have any significant life changes, such as the ones we are going to discuss below.
Example 1: When You Get Married
Getting married is a major event in your life and it is one that definitely can impact your existing estate plan. If you get married you will likely find yourself wanting to change some of the things in your estate plan to include your new spouse. You also may want to ensure that your new spouse can care for you in a crisis. These are just a few of the topics your experienced estate planning attorney can discuss with you.
Example 2: When You Get Divorced
If you get divorced, the steps you need to take to update your estate planning may feel very similar to getting married. While you may want to remove an ex-spouse from your estate plan, you also will need to take steps should you wish to still include him or her. Further, in states such as Florida, the act of divorce has the legal impact of designating the ex-spouse as “deceased” and he or she will not be able to act for you, even if you want him or her to. Be sure to discuss this with your estate planning attorney and update your planning accordingly.
Example 3: When You Have a Child
If you have a child it is important to take care of him or her. You want your estate plan to reflect your intent for your children and that means, at times, you may need to update your estate plan. You will want to put into your estate plan who will be responsible for your minor child if something happens to you, and you may want to add in provisions for them to inherit at specific ages or when they have reached certain milestones.
Example 4: When A Loved One Dies
Losing a loved one is a very difficult experience, but when it happens one of the things you need to do first is update your estate plan. Beyond being your beneficiary, if your loved one was named in the plan to be a decision maker for you, then you will want to make sure you name someone else instead.
If you have questions or need to update your estate plan, do not hesitate to give us a call. One of our experienced attorneys can help you with creating a new estate plan, updating your old one, or anything else that you might need. All you need to do is contact us to schedule an appointment now, or any time in the future.