Having a comprehensive estate plan can provide essential protections for you and offer a sense of reassurance. However, having an outdated or invalid estate plan can potentially undo all of these protections. Estate planning is an ongoing process, and it is critical that you revisit your documents from time to time. All documents should be updated after a major life event or other changes that occurred in your life.
If you’ve experienced one of these events, it is a good idea to update your estate plan:
- New birth or adopted child: If you have a new child in your family – either biological or adopted - make sure that your estate plan includes them as beneficiaries. You should also think about choosing the right guardian to take care of your children.
- Marriage: If you are entering a new marriage, be sure you list your new spouse in your estate planning documents – and remember to remove your former spouse.
- Divorce: If your estate plan still has your ex as your beneficiary, he or she can inherit your estate. It is crucial that you review all your documents, including wills, trusts, and insurance policies and make the necessary revisions.
- Relocation to a new state: Each state has different estate laws. If you have recently relocated, double-check with an attorney to see if your estate plan is still valid.
- Received an inheritance: If you have received an inheritance or a large amount of assets, you should update your estate plan to determine how it will be distributed, how to avoid probate, and how to maximize the assets you leave to your beneficiaries. Discuss your options with an attorney.
- Opened a new business: As a business owner, you should have a succession plan in place so your business can remain in trusted hands once you are gone.
- Passage of new tax or estate laws: Although laws are constantly changing, most people do not keep up with the latest estate or tax laws. You can talk to your attorney about the latest changes in legislation and how it can affect your current plan.
How long has it been since you last touched your estate plan? If it has been more than five years, it may be a good time to think about how your life has changed and whether your plan still reflects your wishes.
Phoenix Estate Planning Lawyers Helping Clients Create Customized Plans
Whether you already have an estate drafted or do not have a plan in place yet, our Phoenix estate planning attorneys at Taylor & Lihn, PLLC can help you update your plan so you can benefit from comprehensive and up-to-date protections.
Contact our office to learn more about your options.