A lot of people put of estate planning out of fear of confronting their own mortality. That’s understandable, but those who work to create an estate plan often find an enormous weight lifted off of their shoulders. These individuals take comfort knowing that their assets and their loved ones will be taken care of in accordance with their wishes when the time comes. Estate planning isn’t a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that requires revisiting from time-to-time. If you don’t revisit your estate plan, you could end up with an estate plan that no longer works for you, your family, and any other interests you want to protect.
When should you consider modifying your estate plan?
There are quite a few life events that might justify modifying your estate plan. Therefore, if any of the following events take place within your family, then you should think about revisiting your estate plan to make any necessary changes.
- The death of a beneficiary or heir
- The birth or adoption of a child into the family
- Your own or a named beneficiary or heir’s divorce
- The acquisition of new assets
- An increase in the value of certain assets
- A change in relationship with a named heir or beneficiary
- An increased financial need of named beneficiaries or heirs
What’s at risk if you don’t modify your estate plan?
If you choose to forego modification of your estate plan when life changes, then your assets may wind up in the wrong hands or loved ones who you would like to receive assets may be left out of asset distribution all together. It can also create infighting amongst your family as they try to figure out what your true intentions were at the time of your estate plan’s creation.
Work to ensure that your estate plan operates exactly how you wish
It can be stressful to think about all of the considerations that go into estate planning. However, you can alleviate some of the burden by working with an attorney who will know exactly what to do to get you the results you want. So, instead of sitting on the issue or trying to address it yourself, think about whether meeting with an estate planning attorney is best for you.