Life is a journey of change and growth, and your estate plan should evolve with it. Here are eight signs that signal it is time to update your estate plan, ensuring it aligns with your current wishes and circumstances:
1. Marriage or Divorce
When you get married, you’ll likely want to provide for your spouse in your estate plan. This means a new will, power of attorney and updated beneficiary forms for retirement accounts and life insurance. That could also include a prenuptial agreement if this is a second marriage for you. Conversely, during a divorce, you may want to revise your plan to remove your former spouse or adjust your beneficiaries.
Read More: Remarriage and Estate Planning
2. Birth or Adoption of Children
You should update your plan to ensure it provides comprehensive care and financial security for your child. This includes designating guardians in the event your health prevents you from caring for your children. You’ll also need a plan for your children after you’re gone and specifying how your assets should be managed for their benefit.
3. Purchase of Real Estate or Significant Assets
Acquiring valuable assets, such as a home, necessitates updating your estate plan to specify who should inherit or manage these new holdings, protecting your investments and ensuring a smooth transition.
4. Business Ownership
If you own a business, your estate plan begins with plan for running your business in the event of a sudden health event. You should have a clear succession plan, identifying who will take charge in the event once you’re gone. You can also include buy-sell agreements to define the terms of the sale or transfer of business shares, safeguarding the interests of your business partners and family members.
5. Health Issues
If you or a family member faces a decline in health, you should consider updating your estate plan to address medical decisions, long-term care needs, and financial arrangements for medical expenses.
6. Digital Assets
If you have not revisited your Will in many years, you will find that in today's digital world, it's important to consider what happens to our digital lives after we're gone. Digital assets include email accounts, social media profiles, online banking, and more. You will want to designate a digital executor and provide them with a list of your accounts and passwords to protect your online legacy.
7. Relocation to a Different State or Country
Different locations have varying laws, so if you move, it is wise to review your estate plan and adjust if necessary to comply with local regulations and ensure it is legally valid.
8. Death of Beneficiary or Executor
The passing of a beneficiary of executor named in your will requires updates to your estate plan to reflect this change and designate new individuals to fulfill these roles.
Your estate plan should adapt to life’s twists and turns. Contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Fiffik Law Group to start or update your estate plan today.