You have finally taken the time to complete your estate plan. Kudos to you! But what happens next? Just because you spent time working with a Folsom estate planning lawyer to complete your estate plan, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can put it behind you for good. When the day comes that your loved ones will need to access your estate plan, you will want to make sure that it is updated to reflect your most current situation. By regularly meeting with an estate-planning attorney when changes occur, you can ensure that your estate plan truly reflects your wishes.
An estate plan is more than just a will, it is comprised of a number of elements in the event that you pass away or are incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own. An estate plan looks at the entirety of a person’s life, and establishes their final wishes. An attorney can help put together an estate plan that is clear and keeps your loved ones from over paying taxes on the assets that they inherit. It can be overwhelming at first to figure out what needs to be covered based on your specific situation. Accessing an estate-planning attorney to go over your estate can help ease some of the apprehension that you may be experiencing.
What will happen if My Estate Plan is Not Updated?
The consequences of an outdated estate plan can be significant. Personal situations can change over the years for a number of reasons. There are several risk factors that can come with not updating your estate plan regularly, including:
- The state could step in and make decisions for you. This could result in decisions being made that you wouldn’t necessarily agree with.
- You could leave someone out of your plan that should be included.
- Someone could stand to inherit assets that you no longer have a relationship with. This could include ex spouses or estranged family.
- New property and assets are not included in your estate plan.
- Someone you appointed to take care of your children or inherit assets is no longer living.
Updating your estate plan is not as daunting as creating your wishes from scratch. It shouldn’t take an attorney much time to review your current estate plan and update it to reflect any changes.
When is it Necessary to Update My Estate Plan?
It will be important for you to regularly take stock of any changes that have occurred in your life. There are some milestones that warrant revision of an estate plan. If you experience any of them, it can be a clear indicator that your estate plan should be updated:
- If you have recently divorced, you will want to ensure that you update your estate plan to reflect the change in marital status. By not doing so, your ex could stand to inherit your assets or be responsible for making medical decisions for you.
- You have recently been married.
- You have children. You will want to identify someone to care for your children in the event that you pass away.
- Through estate planning, you can also ensure that your children are financially taken care of.
If you are unsure of whether your estate plan should be revised, contact an estate-planning attorney. They will be able to review your current situation and determine if a revised plan is in your best interest.
Thank you to our contributors at Yee Law Group for the above information.