If you have taken the step to develop an estate plan to protect your future and that of your loved ones, congratulations! Having an estate plan can go to great lengths in providing you with peace of mind that you and your family will enjoy certain legal protections in some of the most difficult times life can throw at you. While putting an estate plan in place is a great accomplishment, you must be mindful that your estate plan will only be most effective if it remains current and reflects your most recent life circumstances. In addition to scheduling periodic reviews of your estate plan, there are also certain times that should trigger a review and potential update of your estate plan.
Times to Consider Updating Your Estate Plan
Big life events are usually good times to consider updating, or at least reviewing your estate plan. For instance, the beginning or ending of a committed relationship would be good times to revisit your estate plan. If you are getting married or divorced, take a good look at your estate plan. You may want to reconsider who you have selected for valuable roles such as agents in any powers of attorneys, a health care surrogate, beneficiaries, and personal representative of your estate. Oftentimes, people will appoint a spouse in one or more of these roles. Because of this, it is important to revisit and possibly update an estate plan after divorce and after the death of a spouse.
In addition to you yourself getting married or divorced, you may want to revisit your estate plan if any of your beneficiaries, such as your children get married. In the event of divorce, a former spouse can potentially turn into a creditor and thus may seek to gain access to something like an inheritance in order to satisfy an outstanding obligation. If a beneficiary is entering into a marriage with someone you find to be untrustworthy, you may want to restructure your estate plan in a way that would later protect your beneficiary from being vulnerable to creditor claims or exploitation by an unreliable spouse or former spouse.
A birth in the family is also a good time to revisit an estate plan. An addition to your family can mean there is someone else you want to provide for in your estate plan. Recognize the birth of a new potential beneficiary by including them in your estate planning documents. If you have a new baby, then you will also want to include provisions for the continued care of your child. This means naming a guardian for the child in your estate planning documents as well as making arrangements to provide continued financial support for your child.
Should you have concerns regarding a beneficiary struggles or potential struggles with addiction and substance abuse, you should also revisit your estate plan. There are tools you can put in place that will allow you to provide for your loved one who may be struggling while also protecting an inheritance from being used to enable addiction or being lost to creditors.
Estate Planning Attorney
Verras Law is here to help you establish a solid estate plan that best meets the continued needs of you and your family. We are also here to help you make sure that your estate plan remains reflective of your goals. If you are looking to establish an estate plan or update your estate plan, we are here to help. Contact Verras Law today.