Creating an estate plan is a great thing to do for your future and for your family. You can make decisions about how your assets should be distributed. You can provide instructions about medical care. You can set up trust funds and other tools to give you more control.
However, people will sometimes create an estate plan and then assume that they never have to think about it again. This can be problematic, as there are certain life events that mean it’s time for an update.
Changes in your marital status
Perhaps you were single when you made your estate plan and now you’re getting married. Or perhaps you were married and you and your spouse made the plan together, but now you’re getting divorced or even marrying someone new. Anytime that your marital status changes, you want to go over the plan to both remove your ex and include your new partner.
Changes in family structure
We also want to consider your heirs and beneficiaries. Maybe a new child or a grandchild was born. Maybe your adult children are getting divorced. An estate plan needs to be updated so that it actually includes all individuals who you want to inherit.
Significant changes in assets
Of course, much of estate planning is about dividing assets between your heirs. Any time those assets change significantly, you need to update the plan so that it reflects this change. Perhaps you are a business owner who retired and sold their business, meaning that you now have far more financial assets than you did when you first made the plan. You need to determine how to distribute them and what steps to take.
Creating your plan
With the right focus in mind, you can create an estate plan that will be beneficial for your family. Just carefully consider all of your options and ensure that you know how and when this document has to be drafted, filed and updated.