Estate planning is something that you can update as your family or life situation changes. If it has been years since you signed your estate planning papers, you may want to update the plan to ensure it achieves your future goals. An estate planning attorney can help you with the process, ensuring your plan stays aligned with current laws and what you consider important. It may be time to update your estate plan if the following situations are true to yours:
You Relocated to Another State
Laws that govern estate plans vary by state. In a lot of states, a spouse should inherit a certain share of the estate. Inheritance taxes still apply in some states. State laws differ on elements like living wills, power of attorney, and advanced medical directives.
Following your move to another state, ensure you update your estate planning documents to ensure they remain valid. Hire a lawyer to have proof of your change in residence. This is especially necessary if you own a significant amount of property and transfer it to another state that has inheritance taxes. Failure to change your address can lead to your old state taxing your estate.
You Want to Update Your Beneficiaries
If you have new family members like a new child or grandchildren you wish to be added as your beneficiary, you may need to update your plan. The same goes if your relationship with a previous beneficiary has gone sour due to a divorce, for instance, and you don’t want to include them to be your beneficiary. You should let your estate planning lawyer review any changes to your family situations.
Your Assets or Liabilities Change
An update to your estate plan may be necessary if your estate’s value has significantly changed since the establishment of the plan. It is imperative to review the way the property is distributed and determine if it’s still what you want based on your current situation. Also, your plan must be reviewed if you purchased or sold an asset that compromises a substantial portion of your estate.
You Want to Change Your Personal Representative
You may want to update your estate plan if you find your current personal representative unfit for the position for reasons such as health, age, or death. Perhaps you believe one of your kids can take the role now. If your fiduciary is a lawyer or a certified public accountant, this individual may have stopped practicing or retired. To guarantee a successful estate plan, you must review your fiduciaries.