As an Estate Planning Attorney, I know how hard it is for someone to take the first step in planning ahead. When a potential client comes in for a consultation, they have completed the hardest part of the process just by investing their time to speak with me.
We tend to put off creating our Wills, Trusts, and other important documents because we think that we are too young, or we don’t have much to leave behind, or we just don’t have the time to do it right now. The truth is that everyone needs an estate plan. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 88. Creating an estate plan today, allows you to have peace of mind for whatever life has in store for you in the future.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eventually, if you are smart, you take the time and get it done. But that doesn’t mean you can “set it and forget it.” An estate plan is protection for your life and your legacy – these can and will likely change. As life moves along, big changes come our way. You may move to another state; your relationship to beneficiaries and agents may change; or you may welcome a new member to your family.
With life comes changes and we have to keep that in mind when it comes to Estate Planning.
So, what are some changes that may warrant an update to your estate planning documents?
1) Relocation: If you move to a different state, it’s important to have your documents reviewed by an attorney who practices within your new home state. You may need to update the location on your documents. They may also need to be updated to comply with state laws.
2) Divorce/Marriage: If you are divorced or married after your estate planning documents are created, it’s advisable to have your documents updated to align with the changes.
Remember, estate planning documents include Powers of Attorney, as well. You’ll want to make sure your agents are those you trust and can count on.
3) Births/Deaths: Just like divorce and new marriages, whenever there is a major change with the people you hold dear, it’s important to update your documents accordingly.
There are other reasons why you may consider updating your documents. Your relationship to beneficiaries may change, tax changes may come into play, or your health may take a turn.
It’s important to be familiar with what your estate plan has outlined and understand how certain life changes can affect that plan.
For those who have a Will, we recommend that you have your estate plan reviewed every three years. If you have a Trust, a yearly review is advisable.
Your estate planning journey starts with that first step – a consultation. Once you have your documents in place, being consistent in reviewing and updating those documents will ensure that your legacy is protected no matter what changes life brings.
Documents to Keep Updated:
3) Advance Directive for Health Care
4) Financial Power of Attorney
To read CNBC’s Sarah O’Brien’s article about why you should keep your Estate Plan updated CLICK HERE.
To learn more about Estate Planning visit us HERE.
To have your estate planning documents Reviewed contact us at 770.693.2426.