Maybe you made an estate plan when your first child was born years ago, and you haven’t thought much about it since. Since then, your life has changed a lot. You have three more kids, started a new business and got divorced. While you may not have realized it, your estate plan needs updating.
Estate planning is not a one and done process. It likely needs to change when your life does. While you can make changes to your estate plan anytime, here are a few life events that mean you probably need to take a second look.
Your family changes
Any time that your family structure begins to look a little different, it’s time to reassess your estate plan. Here are a few big changes that should signal another meeting with your attorney:
- You get married or your family member gets married and you want to include them
- You get divorced or your family member gets divorced
- You have children or grandchildren
- Someone in your estate plan passes away
Estate planning laws can vary from state to state. When you make a big move, be sure to talk to your attorney to make sure your estate plan is valid in your new home.
Your assets change
If you sell the house or your prized vintage car, you will need to make changes in your estate plan about who those were willed to. Similarly, if you buy a vacation home or inherit new furniture from your parents, you will need to incorporate those into your estate plan.
Your business changes
If you sell your business or if it grows exponentially, you may need to reassess how you distribute assets amongst your beneficiaries. You will also need to discuss if someone will be taking over your business when you pass.
Your relationships change
Sometimes relationships change. You may have a falling out with someone or just realize that they may not be the best choice to have a responsibility in your estate plan. You have the power to go back into your plan and make the changes you feel are necessary.
You can and should be making updates to your estate plan as your life changes. This can help you ensure that your plan is doing what you need.