Life is full of changes, both expected and unexpected. From getting married, having children, buying a home, and retiring, our lives are constantly evolving. With each of these milestones come new challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities. It’s important to remember that with each new stage in life, your estate plan should be reviewed and updated to reflect these changes.
Ultimately, an estate plan is a set of legal documents that outline how your assets will be distributed after you pass away. It may also include instructions for your medical care and finances if you become incapacitated. Without a comprehensive estate plan in place, your assets may be distributed according to state laws, which may not align with your wishes. The process of creating an estate plan may seem overwhelming, however, Morefield Speicher Bachman will make it as easy and stress-free as possible for you. As your life unfolds and your lifestyle changes, we will proactively work with you to ensure you and your family have an estate plan that meets your unique needs today and in the future.
Here are some common life changes that should prompt a review of your estate plan:
Marriage and Divorce
When you get married or divorced, your estate plan should reflect these changes. You may want to change the beneficiaries on your life insurance policy or retirement accounts to include your new spouse or remove your ex-spouse. Additionally, if you get divorced, you may want to update your will to reflect any changes in your wishes for distributing your assets.
Birth or Adoption of a Child
The birth or adoption of a child is an exciting time, but it also requires some important estate planning decisions. You may want to name a guardian for your child in case something happens to you and your spouse. Additionally, setting up a trust can help provide financial security for your child’s future.
Purchase or Sale of Property
If you buy or sell a home or other property, your estate plan may need to be updated. You might need to revise the designated recipients on your will or trust to align with any modifications in ownership of assets. You also could adjust your powers of attorney to coincide with any financial or health changes in your life.
When you retire, your estate plan should reflect your new financial situation. Updating your will or trust to reflect any changes in your income, assets or expenses may be something you want to consider. Reviewing your designated beneficiaries on your retirement accounts may also be wise to guarantee they align with your wishes.
Changes in Health
If your health changes, your estate plan may need to be updated to reflect your new medical needs. For example, you may want to update your powers of attorney to ensure that your medical decisions are made by someone you trust if you become incapacitated.
Life is full of uncertainties and changes, your estate plan should evolve with you. By reviewing and updating your estate plan regularly, you can ensure that your wishes are followed and your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Our goal at MSB is to ensure that your earnings and legacy are handled with the care they deserve. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney to help you review and update your estate plan today.