Estate planning is a task people tend to put off. However, once your will and other estate documents are in place, you may not think about them again for a long time.
Major life changes should trigger a review of your estate plan. Protect your loved ones by keeping the information current.
Expecting your first child might be the life event that makes you realize the importance of creating a will. Besides naming the child as a beneficiary, it’s a good time to document who their guardian would be if something were to happen to you and your spouse.
Change in marital status
Is your ex-spouse still listed as a beneficiary? This is just one example of when outdated estate documents could create problems for your family after you’re gone. Marriage, divorce, the death of your spouse, and the marriage of your children are all good reasons to review and update your estate documents.
If there is a significant increase in the value of your estate, you will want to make the necessary changes to minimize the tax implications for both your estate and its beneficiaries.
If a beneficiary were to become financially irresponsible due to substance abuse, for example, you might consider moving their portion of your estate into a trust. A third-party trust administrator can help the beneficiary make fiscally sound decisions.
In general, you should review your will every few years. Not only does your life change, but estate laws also change. It’s important to make sure your estate plan changes with the times.