When you are planning a wedding, making funeral arrangements or anything in between, your estate plan might be the last thing on your mind. It’s natural to be caught up in the emotions of the life event you and your family are experiencing instead of asking yourself, “How does this affect my will or trust?”
Seven times to think about updating your estate plan
Nevertheless, reaching certain milestones can mean it’s time to review your estate plan. Events that shape your life and change who is a part of it can render some or all of your plan obsolete. Thus, events like the following can make amending your will, trust, power of attorney designation and other documents necessary:
- Getting married or divorced
- A death in the family
- Your spouse or child develops a disability
- The birth or adoption of a new child or grandchild
- Purchasing a new home or other large asset
- Receiving a large inheritance or gift
- The death of your chosen executor or trustee of your trust, or a change in circumstances that makes them no longer suitable
Some of these changes are fairly minor and can be made using a codicil, which is a document amending your will. Other times, your life or goals for your estate plan have changed enough that a new will is necessary. Your estate planning attorney can review your plan with you periodically and advise you on how to update it to fit your current circumstances.
Nobody’s life stays the same forever. As the years pass, keeping your estate plan up to date will help ensure that your assets will be distributed how you want after you are gone.