You may have heard that creating an estate plan is essential to make sure your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone. However, updating your estate planning documents is just as important as creating them in the first place.
Experts generally recommend reviewing your estate plan with your attorney on a regular basis and updating it every three to five years or when a major life event occurs. Here are some of the possible life events that may occur and the updates you may need to make as a result.
- Birth or adoption of a child: Your may name a legal guardian for the child and set up a trust to store assets for your new child’s future.
- Marriage: Name your new spouse as a beneficiary in your will and on your insurance policies and grant them power of attorney (medical and/or financial).
- Divorce: Remove your ex-spouse as life insurance beneficiary and redistribute assets to other beneficiaries.
- Death of a loved one: If the deceased person was named in your plan as an executor, guardian, or beneficiary, you may need to name someone new to take their place.
- Significant change in assets (e.g., purchase of a new home or start or sale of a business): Adjust plan to account for change in value of property and newly acquired assets.
- Serious illness or injury: You may grant a loved one health care power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
- Moving out of state: Revise your plan to make sure it complies with the estate planning laws in your new state.
Updating your estate plan is necessary to protect your family and make sure your wishes are known and respected after your death. Failing to update your estate planning documents can cause your loved ones to lose valuable estate assets and lead to confusion and heartache. An attorney specializing in Texas’s estate planning laws can make sure your documentation is up to date and that all your affairs will be in order when the time comes.