For Better or Worse, Why You Need to Update Your Estate Plan

These are the top four reasons to update your estate plan:

Major life events are reasons to update your estate plan, whether they are celebrations or sad events.

MP900422990These are the top four reasons to update your estate plan: birth, death, marriage and divorce. However, there are other reasons, including bankruptcy or receiving a surprise windfall.

The FDL Reporter recently published an article, “Best reasons to update estate plans include marriage, divorce, move, birth”that discusses life events that can impact your estate planning.

Marital Status. A change in your marital status definitely requires significant changes to your estate plan. If you've recently married, state law on marital property will now apply to the division and distribution of your estate upon your death.  If you've recently divorced, your estate plan should be updated to see that your ex is removed as a beneficiary and fiduciary, as well as any of his or her relatives.

Financial Status. If you're fortunate enough to have won the lottery or received an inheritance, you need to look at your existing estate plan to see that it still satisfies the needs of your now larger estate. If the opposite has occurred and your estate has declined in value, you also need an estate plan review.

Birth or Death of a Beneficiary or Fiduciary. You need to remove the individual's name.  However, if a spouse has died, your plan may need a complete overhaul. If you or a beneficiary have adopted or had a child, you need to add that child.

A Move to a New State.This is one of the most overlooked reasons to update your estate plan. Every state has different probate, tax, and estate laws.

You Don’t Remember the Last Time You Updated Your Estate Plan. The passage of time brings change to others, even if your life has not changed. Are the people you had named as fiduciaries still able to carry out those duties? Is the person you selected to be your executor, still the best candidate? Review your estate plan with your attorney to make sure that it still reflects your wishes and your life.

Reference: FDL Reporter (April 24, 2018) “Best reasons to update estate plans include marriage, divorce, move, birth”

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