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Occasions that necessitate updating your estate plan

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Estate Planning |

An estate plan is supposed to help ensure your legacy carries on after you pass away. Essentially, it should minimize confusion and emotional strain for your loved ones during a difficult time. 

But life is rarely static, and what fit your needs perfectly five years ago might not be ideal today. That’s why you should revisit and update your estate plan from time to time. 

When there’s a new addition to the family 

The arrival of children is a joyous occasion, but it also adds a new layer of complexity to your estate plan. You’ll want to designate guardians for your minor children and potentially set up trusts to manage their inheritance responsibly. As your children grow older, you might also want to involve them in discussions about your estate plan, especially if they’ll be taking on any executor or trustee roles.

When there are changes in relationships 

Life sometimes leads to estrangement from family members previously included in your plan. Updating your estate plan can allow you to remove them as beneficiaries. This can help ensure your assets go to the desired beneficiaries.

When your assets and finances shift

Your financial situation can evolve significantly over time. For instance, you may inherit property, start a successful business or experience a windfall. When your assets and finances shift, your estate plan needs to reflect this new wealth. You might want to establish trusts to minimize taxes or help ensure specific assets go to designated beneficiaries.

The sale of a house or business can also necessitate revisions. You might need to update beneficiary information for proceeds from the sale or adjust how other assets are distributed.

Your estate plan should be a gift to your loved ones. It provides clarity, minimizes legal wrangling and helps to ensure your wishes are respected. Seeking legal support to keep your plan updated can help ensure your legacy is handled according to your vision.