Estate planning is a way to celebrate your life and all that you have built by making sure your property and assets are handled according to your wishes after you pass on. Having an estate plan in place affords you the reassurance that when the time comes, your affairs will be handled in the manner you have intended.
People often (incorrectly) assume that once they create their estate plan they never have to think about it again. Estate plans need to be reviewed on a regular basis (at least every three years) and updated as needed. As time passes, your circumstances change, and your estate plan needs to keep pace with all of the changes in your life.
Why do I need to update my estate plan?
1. Changes to Your Marital Status.
Have you gotten divorced? It might be time to remove your ex from your estate plan. Now that your property and assets have been divided, you need to take steps to update your estate plan. Otherwise, your assets could be distributed in ways and to people you don’t want – including your ex-spouse.
Have you gotten married? Make sure your estate plan includes your new spouse. Even if you and your partner are not getting married, you may want to consider revising your estate plan to enable them to make health care and financial decisions if you are unable. You may also want to include your partner in other areas of your planning, such as distribution of assets.
2. Changes in Tax Laws.
It may be necessary to update your estate plan for tax-related reasons. Tax laws are constantly shifting, so what was the best approach a few years ago may not be the best approach today.
You may also want to revisit how taxes will impact your estate plan if you have moved to a different state. Different states have different laws regarding taxes, and a local attorney can help you determine how these laws affect your plan.
3. Changes in Beneficiaries.
Maybe you have decided you want to set up a portion of your estate to establish a scholarship in your name. You may have had another child or need to remove someone who is no longer present in your life. Regardless of the reason, you’ll want to update your estate plan if you decide to change your beneficiaries in any way.
I need to update my estate plan. How do I get started? An experienced attorney can help you update your estate plan. At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC, we have experience creating and updating estate plans for young families, empty nesters, and everyone in between. Contact us today by using the contact form on our website, or by calling (978) 263-6900 to find out how we can help you.