You probably already know how important estate planning is. Not only does it protect the assets you worked so hard to acquire, but it also protects your family after you are gone.
Creating a will is really the first step in the estate planning process. You must also update your will as needed during your life to ensure it continues to meet your needs. Here are a few times when you must update your estate plan.
Most people include their spouses within their wills. Accordingly, divorce requires a thorough review of all estate planning tools to reflect your new life situation. You must also review beneficiary designations on things like life insurance policies and retirement accounts. The information contained in these documents supersedes your will, so you must update them as needed.
The birth or adoption of a new child is a joyous occasion for families. As a result, it is easy to overlook practical issues like estate planning. Including your child in your will is crucial to ensure they receive the best care possible, in case the unthinkable happens. You can use the document to name a guardian, which provides peace of mind to you and your family.
In addition to changes to your beneficiaries, changes to your assets also warrant a review of your will. For example, receiving a raise or a large sum of money can change your plans for inheritance. New assets must feature in your will, along with explicit instructions on how to disperse them. If they are not present, the court will decide on its own how to disperse these new assets.
Even if no major changes have taken place, it helps to review your will on occasion to make sure it still meets your needs. Estate planning attorneys typically recommend conducting a review every three to five years to change the necessary documents.