You’ve done the responsible thing and have an estate plan tucked away if death or unpredictable circumstances occur. Now you don’t have to worry about it again, right? Wrong. Changes to estate plans should happen throughout life to coincide with major life events.
6 Major Life Events that Prompt Updating Your Estate Plan
Think of the significant changes that would prompt a difference in your estate plan. All the names and assets are not going to stay the same over the course of 30 years. Life happens, and relationships change. Consider these life events:
1. Marriage or Divorce: If you get remarried, it serves as a need to add on a new spouse or stepchildren to your estate plan. Similarly, in the case of a divorce, you will want to revisit your plan to change the beneficiaries of your assets.
2. Birth: Anytime there is a birth in the family, you can include the new member on your list of beneficiaries. You don’t want to forget any new additions as the years go by.
3. Death: If a beneficiary in your estate plan dies or becomes incapacitated, you need to amend the document to match the updated circumstances.
4. Change in Assets: If you sell your home, property, or businesses, your estate plan will require updating. You may acquire a new asset or experience a loss of possessions. In all of these cases, you will need to alter the estate plan.
5. Change in Income: If you were to lose your job or make a career change that required a move out of state, your estate plan would be updated to reflect the current circumstances.
6. Updated Tax Benefits: A good estate plan will take advantage of all the tax benefits when it comes to passing down your estate to your loved ones. If those benefits change over the years with new tax laws, you will want to keep your plan current with those changes.
All of these life events would result in changes to your estate plan so that you can plan for the people in your life after you die or become incapacitated. Consult with a trusted lawyer to make the changes immediately after any of these significant events.
If you need help modifying your estate plan, contact Miles & Hatcher, LLP, to help. Our team can assist you in updating your estate plan and advising you on the best strategies for your circumstance. Call to set up a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.