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THE ONLY THING THAT IS CONSTANT IS CHANGE

“THE ONLY THING THAT IS CONSTANT IS CHANGE.”

     ~Heraclitus of Ephesus

 

An estate plan is written to reflect your situation at a specific point in time. As we all know, our lives are constantly changing. Some of our life-changing circumstances are anticipated, but many are not.

As your circumstances change, so should your estate plan. The following are 10 life changes that should trigger you to review your current estate plan:

 

  1. Marriage – this is especially important when you have a blended family.
  2. Remarriage – is there a need for a prenuptial agreement? Do you want your new spouse and their children to inherit all your assets, or some, or none?
  3. Divorce – have you or one of your beneficiaries recently divorced? Perhaps you have a child whose spouse is also a named beneficiary. Either situation should make you think about who is currently listed as a beneficiary and whether you want to make any changes.
  4. Death of a Spouse/Grantor – when a spouse who is also a Grantor/Trustee passes away a new Certificate of Trust needs to be created to ensure the surviving spouse can make all necessary decisions. Also, Affidavits of Death need to be recorded on any property that is vested in your trust.
  5. Death or illness of a Beneficiary – you want to ensure that the portion set aside for this beneficiary is going to be distributed the way you intended. Perhaps a beneficiary now has a disability and you want to set up a special needs trust.
  6. The Birth of a child – updating an estate plan to include a child or another child is most particularly important regarding guardianship for your children. You most likely do not want the state deciding who will take care of your children if something happens to you. The birth of grandchildren is important too. You may want to update your plan to include them by name.
  7. Illness or Disability – who do you trust to ensure you are cared for properly?
  8. Increase in Assets or Income – have you bought a new home? Have you started your own business or received an inheritance? Did you acquire stock or any other assets that should be included in your trust?
  9. Moving to Another State – each state has its own laws that govern estates. You will want to ensure that your estate plan is reviewed so that the provisions in your estate plan have the same effect in your new state.
  10. Changes in the Law – this is especially important in Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directives. Are yours current?

You should probably review your estate plan every 3 to 5 years, or whenever there is a substantial change in your circumstances. Give our office a call to help you determine if your estate plan needs an update. A quick phone call to our estate planning attorney could help determine whether your estate plan is current and give you peace of mind. Call today- the first phone call with an attorney is always free. 888-560-2743.

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