The estate planning process doesn’t end when you sign the necessary documents. Creating your estate plan is just the first step, and you should always review the content of your plan regularly. However, while it’s important to review your estate plan regularly, some significant life events may trigger a review of your plan and possibly an update.
Here are some instances when you should review your estate plan.
1. After a divorce
Naturally, divorce may change the assets you own and your wishes on whom you would want to inherit your assets after your death. You’ll also most likely want to disinherit your ex. For these reasons, you need to revise your estate plan while also taking into account the provisions of the divorce settlement agreement.
2. Marriage or remarriage
Getting hitched is one event requiring a complete review of your estate plan. You most likely want to make your spouse a beneficiary in your life insurance policies, will and trust. You will also want to make provisions for your children from the previous marriage. In this case, you can use a trust to ensure your wishes are followed.
3. If you receive additional assets or an inheritance
You will need to review your estate plan when you receive additional assets. Otherwise, people could be unsure about who you want to have them.
4. Birth of a child
The objective of having an estate plan is to provide for your children and to maximize their inheritance by avoiding probate or minimizing their estate tax liability. In addition, after your child’s birth, it’s essential that you protect them in case anything happens to you and your spouse. You can do this by updating your estate plan and ensuring they’re provided for in your trusts, wills and life insurance.
There are numerous other reasons why you should revise your estate plan. If you’re experiencing a particular event that triggers an immediate review of your estate plan, consider seeking legal advice to ensure your estate plan reflects your wishes.