While creating an estate plan can be among the most important tools in planning for the future, it is not always a one-time endeavor. Life's variables are constantly fluctuating and the best plans are maintained and updated as time goes on. Below, our blog outlines four situations which may give you a reason to revisit the terms of your estate plan.
- Change in marital status: From the beneficiary in a will to the executor of an estate, spouses are typically a large part of an estate plan. After a marriage, designating the role your spouse will take can ensure that the emotional and financial responsibility of your estate falls onto prepared shoulders. Conversely, the process of divorce does not automatically negate a former spouse's previously designated roles and you should be sure to remove their name in the appropriate places in accordance with your wishes.
- The passing of a loved one: The loss of loved ones can be emotionally difficult and it is understandable that you may not want to consider the ramifications immediately. However, when you are ready, certain changes should be reflected in your estate plan. If you were named as a beneficiary, you must incorporate any new assets into your own plan. Additionally, if the departed played a role such as the executor of your estate, beneficiary to assets, or would hold power of attorney, you must find another person to fill these roles.
- The birth of a child or grandchild: A new family member often spurs the creation of an estate plan (if one did not already exist). With the birth or adoption of a child, topics of inheritance, trust funds, and college funds are commonly brought up. Furthermore, legal guardianship must be planned for in the event that tragedy strikes.
- Significant financial changes: The average person can experience multiple significant financial events within their lifetime. For example, if you purchase a new home, start a business, or undertake a new career path, you may want your estate plan to reflect these changes. Financial considerations such as planned inheritance can have substantial effects on taxes and an experienced attorney can help you create a plan that sees your finances are distributed as you see fit.
The list above is far from all-inclusive and there are numerous reasons why a person may seek to update his or her estate plan. A well-drafted plan will lay the groundwork for future changes. Once the main terms have been drafted, only minor revisions may be required. Of course, there is no universal strategy that will work for everyone and specific concerns should be directed towards a knowledgeable attorney.
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Whether you are looking to revise an existing plan or you are only beginning to explore your options, the Springer Law Firm PLLC can help. Our Katy estate planning attorneys possess more than 65 years of collective experience and can provide the compassionate advocacy you need to see that your wishes are carried out as you intend.
Request an initial consultation today to discuss your situation with an attorney from our firm.