Estate planning is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to review and update your plan regularly. Major life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one can have a significant impact on your estate plan.
Why You Need to Update Your Estate Plan
Major life events can significantly affect your estate plan in several ways. For example, if you get married or divorced, you may need to update your beneficiaries or revise your estate plan to account for a new spouse or changes in your family situation.
If you have a child, you may need to add them as a beneficiary or revise your estate plan to account for their care in the event of your incapacity or death.
Similarly, the death of a loved one can also affect your estate plan. For example, suppose a family member or close friend who was named as a beneficiary or executor in your estate plan passes away. In that case, you need to make changes to ensure that your plan reflects your current wishes.
Failure to update your estate plan after major life events can have serious consequences. For example, if you get divorced and fail to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, they may still receive a portion of your assets after your death.
Alternatively, if you have a child and fail to update your estate plan to provide for their care, the court may need to appoint a guardian to manage their inheritance.
How to Update Your Estate Plan
To update your estate plan after a major life event, you’ll want to work with an experienced estate planning attorney who can help you navigate the legal and financial implications of the changes.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Review your existing estate plan: The first step is to review your existing estate plan and identify any areas that may need to be revised.
- Determine the changes needed: Based on the life event, determine what changes must be made to your estate plan. This may include updating beneficiaries, changing the executor, or revising your will or trust.
- Draft the necessary documents: Once you have determined the changes needed, work with your estate planning attorney to draft the necessary documents, such as a new will or trust.
- Update beneficiary designations: If the life event affects your beneficiaries, such as the birth of a child, you may need to update your beneficiary designations on financial accounts or life insurance policies.
- Inform your loved ones: It’s important to inform your loved ones of the changes to your estate plan and ensure that they understand your wishes.
- Regularly review and update your plan: Even after making changes, it’s essential to review and update your estate plan regularly to ensure that it continues to reflect your wishes.
Are You Facing a Major Life Event? Let us Help.
Major life events can have a significant impact on your estate plan, and it’s essential to update your plan accordingly. Failure to do so can result in unintended consequences and potential legal challenges for your loved ones.
By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can ensure that your estate plan reflects your current wishes and provides for the future of your loved ones. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us to get started today.
Author: Marlon O. Brammer
Marlon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Brammer, PLLC, where he helps small business owners, real estate investors, and families in Florida, protect their assets and grow generational wealth.