Estate planning is not written in stone. Instead, estate plans should be reviewed and reconsidered when various major life events occur. This article reviews some of the big life changes that should cause you to review the terms of your estate plan. This article reviews some of the things you should consider reviewing after these changes happen. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about revisions to your estate plan, one of the best things you can do is speak with an experienced attorney.
Marriage involves the combination of two lives. Understandably, your estate plan should be revised following a marriage to reflect this change. This will likely mean adding your new spouse’s name to insurance policies and estate planning documents. You should also take the steps necessary to revise your status on your will, trusts, and deeds.
If you’re facing a serious medical illness, you should give thought to the person you have appointed to care for you if you become incapacitated. Similarly, if you’ve appointed someone to serve as a guardian or in another role in your estate plan and that person is now facing a serious illness, you should give thought to whether they will be able to perform in this role.
It’s an unfortunate truth, but not all marriages last. If you fail to properly update your estate plan following a divorce, many undesirable consequences could end up happening. For example, a former spouse might receive an asset that you do not want them to attend.
If you’ve recently moved to a new state, the laws that apply to your estate plan can change dramatically. As a result, if you’ve recently moved to or from New York or another state, you absolutely should consider retaining an attorney who will review your estate plan to make sure that it will still be executed in the way that you desire.
Whether by adoption or birth, we have a responsibility to care for the children of our loved ones. Following such an event, you might decide to update a will or other estate planning document to reflect a change in the guardianship of this child. You might also decide to establish a trust that can be utilized to pay for the educational costs of this child.
As joyous as welcoming a new life into the world is, losing a loved one is unpleasant. If the person who passes away is named in your estate plan, you should give thought to updating your estate planning documents to remove these individuals from your plans. Deaths often result in people appointing new beneficiaries and choosing new guardians to watch over minor children.