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When do you need to update your estate plan?

| May 28, 2020 | Estate Planning

You spent months making an estate plan: a will, trust, burial plans, power of attorneys. Still, you will have to continue working on it because estate planning isn’t a one-and-done situation. Your life changes, so you have to change your estate plan with it.

It’s important to know when you should work with your lawyer to make changes to your estate plan. Here are some instances when you may need to make updates:

  • Moving – Some states have different estate planning laws. When you move, you should work with your attorney to make sure that your plan is up to date with your new home’s regulations.
  • Marriage – When you get married, it can change things in your estate plan. You may want to will pieces of your estate to your new spouse or their family, and you may want to name your spouse as your power of attorney or another role.
  • Children and grandchildren – If you welcome a new life into your family as a child, grandchild or otherwise, you may want to make sure to include them in your plan as a beneficiary.
  • Divorce – If you or a family member gets divorced, you will likely want to reconsider leaving anything for the person leaving the family, like your ex-wife or your child’s ex-husband.
  • Death – In the event that someone you love passes away, you may need to change how they are addressed in your estate plan, including if they were a beneficiary or were named in other positions.
  • Relationship changes – If your relationships change with those who have responsibilities in your estate plan, you may need to consider if that means you also need to change their role in your estate. Consider making alterations if you are no longer comfortable with your executor, trustee, beneficiary or power of attorney.
  • Asset changes – When you inherit or buy new assets, you will need to decide what will happen to them when you pass. Conversely, if you sell or get rid of pieces of your property, you should take those out of your estate plan and adjust accordingly.
  • Retirement changes – If your retirement plan changes or if your beneficiary is no longer appropriate, you should incorporate those changes into your estate plan.

As life changes, so must your estate plan. Talk to your attorney about alterations and make sure they are consistent across all documents.

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