Estate Planning For The Long Run

Remember to review your estate plan if these happen

Every adult needs an estate plan that outlines their wishes for what will happen after they pass away, as well as plans for their care if they become incapacitated. The thing that many adults don't realize is that they will have to review the plan periodically after they make it.

It's imperative that your estate plan always reflects your most current wishes. You should check it and update it if you have major life changes or at least every three years. You also need to do this if there are ever any changes in any laws, including tax law, that governs the plan.

Your family structure changes

If you get married or divorced, have new children or grandchildren, or your children become adults, you need to review the estate plan to ensure that it still meets the needs of the beneficiaries and that everyone you want is included. If you have people who are being taken out of the will, you may consider a no-contest clause or finding out if there are ways to prevent legal drama when you pass away.

You move a new state

Your estate plan must be based in the state of your primary residence. If you move to a new state, you must ensure that your plan is based on the correct laws so there aren't any issues when your loved ones need to follow the plan.

Your financial situation changes

The estate plan should only include assets that you still own. If you sell anything, you need to take it out of the estate plan or it could cause problems. You also need to make sure that you include all the assets you own so there isn't anything that your heirs will have to work out. Also, don't put anything in the plan that's covered under something else, such as a payable on death designation on a financial account.

You need to change designations

Look at the individuals you have named as the executor, trustees and powers of attorney. If you don't believe they can handle those duties now or if they have passed away, you should update the estate plan to reflect the individuals you want in these positions now.

Whether you're creating your initial estate plan or updating one that's already established, you must ensure that everything is set up in accordance with applicable laws. Your attorney can help you to do this so that you have the peace of mind in knowing that your family is taken care of when you're gone.

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