In life, things can change quickly and they often do without notice. As your life changes year to year, you should revisit the conditions of your estate plan accordingly. Ideally, any time you undergo a major life change, you should amend your estate plan to consider these changes.

Estate planning is the process by which an individual or family arranges the transfer of assets in anticipation of death. It encompasses a variety of legal tools, documents, and methods meant to provide you with financial security, protection, and a strategy that will help your family following your death.

Major life events like a change in marital states, a birth, or purchase or sale of a real estate property can all have an effect on the conditions of your estate plan, so it’s crucial that you re-consult with your lawyer to make sure your estate plan is still current. Your estate planning attorney will advise whether or not your assets and property are still able to be distributed in accordance with your wishes and, if there are any issues, your attorney will settle these proactively before it’s too late.

If you have questions about the strength of your estate plan, or want to learn how to create one, schedule a free consultation with Thomas-Walters, PLLC.

Why Should I Update My Estate Plan If I Changed My Marital Status?

Any time you experience a big life change, you should consider how this life change affects the conditions of your estate plan. Your marital is one example of a major life change that will affect your estate. For example, a new spouse needs to become part of your will, as you will likely choose to make your spouse a beneficiary who will receive a portion of your assets after you die. Similarly, if you were recently divorced, it’s wise to remove your former spouse from the previous marriage from your estate plan. Unmarried couples also need estate planning, so don’t forget to ensure that your estate plan accounts for just who exactly you want to receive your assets.

Do I Need To Alter My Estate Plan If I Have Another Child?

Your estate plan should be amended as your family grows. If you have another child, or if a loved one has a child and you have another grandchild, niece or nephew, you should account for this in your estate plan if you want any of these family members to be beneficiaries.

If someone in your family has passed away, your estate planning attorney needs to know this as well. If a grown child divorces their spouse, you’ll want to remove this former in-law from any important documentation as well. If you have any prospective beneficiaries who have special needs, it’s important to note that their needs may develop and change over time, so their mental and physical state should be amended in your estate plan year-by-year.

Am I Able To Change A Trustee Or Executor?

Choosing a trustee and executor of your will is one of the most important decisions you will make. We always advise our clients to put trusted, rational adult family members in charge of managing your estate. As time goes on, however, our relationships with these people may change, or we may lose them if they pass away or move far.

Making sure you have a trusted person appointed as a trustee or executor is crucial. Should your wishes change, and you want to change who’s appointed in these positions, your estate planning attorney can help you do so.

Can I Change My Estate Plan If Tax Laws Change?

One of the many reasons why it’s wise to amend your estate plan every year is that tax laws in your state may change over time. Changes to tax law can affect retirement plans and estate plans, which can have a significant impact on the value of your estate. Tax law tends to change substantially over the course of a few laws, especially under new legislation at the federal level.

Consulting with your estate planning lawyer annually is the only way to ensure your plan is still as strong as possible. If you have any questions regarding state or federal tax law and how it affects your estate plan, contact your attorney right away.

Schedule A Free Consultation About Creating A Strong Estate Plan Today

Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, health care plans, and more can be planned out with the help of an estate law attorney. If you have any questions about the strength of your estate plan, or which estate plan will work best for you and your family, schedule a free consultation with an estate planning attorney today.

At Thomas-Walters, PLLC, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to anyone interested in learning more about creating a strong estate plan.