Your estate plan can help you protect your assets and your legacy. As your life changes, so do your needs and goals for the future. Your estate plan is a legal document that needs to be reviewed and revised as your life changes in order to protect you and your family.
Your future may include getting married, starting a family or owning a business. If you are still working to achieve these goals or your priorities in life have changed, now is the time to make sure your estate plan is up-to-date.
Why you should review your estate plan
You should review your estate planning documents every few years to make sure everything is still accurate and applies to your situation. Listed below are other times you should review and revise your estate plan:
- Marriage, remarriage or divorce: you will need to add your new spouse or remove your ex as a beneficiary in your estate planning documents. Don't forget about your life insurance, retirement accounts and other assets that may be passed to your spouse or ex. You should review the beneficiary designations on these accounts to make sure your assets are passed on to the proper individuals.
- Children: your will and other estate planning documents can address how your minor children will be cared for in the event both parents pass away. You may want to consider creating a trust to protect your assets, and don't forget about including any adult children that may become part of your blended family if you get remarried.
- Move: You will need to review your documents if you move to another state. Every state has different laws that need to be addressed in your estate plan.
- Health: Your estate plan should include an advance health care directive. You need to create and review this document before you become incapacitated to ensure your wishes are honored. An advance health care directive will delegate power to the person you appoint to make health care decisions on your behalf.
Do not put off the review of your estate plan. Taking the simple steps now to assess your situation and make sure everything is updated will benefit you and your loved ones in the future. You should consider consulting an attorney to help you review your documents to make sure everything is accurate and any mistakes are fixed before it's too late.