Having an estate plan in place means that you have taken a significant step in protecting a future you want for yourself and your loved ones. Establishing an estate plan, however, does not mean the process is over. Over time, our lives can significantly change. Our family dynamics change, family structures change, financial situations change, and our goals change. These are all things that can have a serious impact on estate planning. In order for your estate plan to most effectively serve your goals, it must remain up to date. In addition to reviewing your estate plan consistently over the years, you should plan to review your estate plan at certain specific times of your life. We discuss more about this here.
Times You Should Review Your Estate Plan
Periodic reviews of your estate plan can help you double-check that your estate plan is still effectively serving your goals. Even things like laws changing can have significant impacts on an estate plan. A periodic review can help ensure that you are maximizing the effectiveness of your estate plan and working to avoid any unintended consequences your current estate plan may cause. On top of periodic estate plan reviews and updates, you should make a concerted effort to review your estate plan after certain major life events.
If you move out of state, you should review your estate plan. While it is likely that your estate planning documents will remain valid under the laws of the new state, it is always best to double-check this. You may also want to update things such as powers of attorneys or personal representative of your estate when you relocate. It may be more practical and convenient for people in these trusted positions to be located close to your current residence. If you recently moved, your designated agents and representatives may still be located back in your former state of residents.
If there has been a birth or death in the family, you may want to review your estate plan. You may want to add a beneficiary, you may want to change a beneficiary, or you may want to remove a beneficiary listed in your estate planning documents due to a birth or death in the family. You may also want to change designations in your powers of attorney or personal representative in light of these kinds of changes.
If there has been a marriage or divorce in the family, you may want to review and update your estate plan. Marriages and dissolutions of marriages can have profound impact on estate plans. It is a pervasive practice to designate your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your estate. It is also common practice to designate you spouse as your health care surrogate and your financial power of attorney. If you are planning to marry or divorce, you will want to check and make sure that your estate plan has been properly updated to reflect this major change in life circumstances.
Estate Planning Attorneys
For more guidance on not only how to establish an estate plan that best serves you and your loved ones, but how to continually ensure this, the team of knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at OC Wills & Trusts is here for you. Contact us today.