Estate Planning Attorney Ridgefield, CT
As you may be aware, wills and estate plans are meant to serve as living documents. Practically speaking, this means that they are meant to be updated and revised over time. Although not impossible, it is highly unlikely that the instructions you provided within your will when you first made it will remain exactly the same over the course of your entire lifetime. As a result, you should consider checking in with your estate planning attorney whenever your wishes evolve or your family experiences a major change in structure or circumstance.
Why Update and/or Revise?
If you do not update your will and estate plan over time, your estate may be affected by one of two problems after you have passed away. First, your words may be interpreted as reflecting your most current wishes, even if your wishes are no longer accurate as written. For example, if you decided to leave the entirety of your estate to your first-born child and did not revise your will after additional children were born, your younger children may be left with nothing. Or second, your wishes may be contested as an inaccurate reflection of your wishes, even if your wishes remain accurate as written. For example, if you do not wish to leave your younger children anything in your will but you have not updated your estate plan to reflect that these wishes remain accurate, your younger children could challenge your instructions to leave everything to your oldest. They could effectively argue that you meant to leave them part of your estate but simply did not update an outdated document to reflect this reasonable desire.
As Life Evolves
When your financial situation and/or your family structure evolves, it is important to update your will to either confirm that your wishes remain accurate despite a change in circumstance or to better reflect your current desires. Please consider updating your estate plan if you marry, divorce, have children, secure new significant assets, win a sizeable legal judgment or one of your beneficiaries passes away. Updating your estate plan will likely not take your attorney much time or effort. As a result, you should not hesitate to reach out as often as makes sense given the changes in your life’s circumstances over time. Please also note that you may additionally need to instruct your attorney to update the beneficiaries listed on financial documentation when appropriate as well.
Estate Planning Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about revising or generally updating your will and estate plan, please consider reaching out to an estate planning attorney Ridgefield, CT residents rely on at Sweeney Legal, LLC. Every individual’s estate plan is different and every individual’s life circumstances evolve in different ways. As a result, there are few “hard and fast” rules one can apply to the process of estate planning without context. Once an attorney learns more about your assets, your wishes and your current estate plan, he or she will be able to better advise you of your options and help you prepare for the future.