It’s no secret that it’s important to have an estate plan in place, but did you know that it is equally important to keep it updated? An outdated Will or other estate planning documents can lead to issues for your loved ones after your death. Below are some (but not all) life events that may necessitate a change to your estate planning documents:
- You got married: You may want to update your estate planning documents to add your spouse as a beneficiary, executor/trustee, or Power of Attorney.
- You got divorced: Chances are, you will want to remove your ex-spouse as beneficiary, executor/trustee, and/or POA, on your documents as well as to reflect any changes in your assets or owned property.
- You had or adopted children: Some wills already include afterborn children, but if yours does not, you may want to update your will to reflect the new addition(s) to your family. You may also want to make arrangements for care for any minor children.
- You got a new job: Getting a new job doesn’t always require an update to your estate planning documents. However, your new benefits may result in a change to what people will get when you die. Based on those changes, an estate plan review is prudent. Additionally, you may have to make changes to beneficiary designations when it comes to your life insurance policies or retirement benefit accounts.
- You moved (especially to a new state or country): While it is not always necessary to make changes to estate planning documents when you move, it is a good idea to review your documents and make sure everything is correct, especially if you moved states or countries, as laws vary by location. If you sold or bought a house in the move, that may need to be reflected in your estate planning documents as well.
- Death or health decline of someone you named executor/trustee or Power of Attorney: If you name someone for one of these positions, and they fail to survive you or if they have a significant decline in their health, it may be a good idea to update your estate plan and name new people to take on those roles.
- Death or health decline of a beneficiary of your estate. If someone will need assistance in using what you want to give them or if anything you give to someone may be used to satisfy their creditors (nursing homes, medical bills, extensive other debt); there are estate planning options that can provide for quality of life without resulting in simply giving away the property to the creditors of your loved one.
We recommend that you review your estate planning documents annually and make required changes as promptly as possible. If you have questions about your estate planning documents or need to have them updated, we would love to assist. Please give us a call at 309-517-5415 to schedule a consultation.