You have set aside time from your busy schedule to create an estate plan. Congratulations! You have taken a crucial step towards safeguarding your legacy and your loved ones’ futures. Without an estate plan in place, it would be up to the government to distribute your hard-earned assets per Texas’ intestate laws.
However, an estate plan is not something you sign, lock up in some safe and forget about. An estate is a living document, and you need to review and update it periodically. Reviewing and updating your estate plan is not just a good idea, it is a necessity.
Here are two signs that you need to review and update your estate plan.
When you go through a major life event
Life events that may warrant an estate plan update include a change in your marital status (marriage or divorce), the birth or adoption of a child or the death of a beneficiary. Any of these situations may justify the revision of your estate plan with the goal of addressing these changes.
Here are a few important updates you might want to make to your estate plan following a major life event:
- Allocating assets to a new family member (spouse, child or grandchild)
- Removing an ex from your list of beneficiaries after a divorce
- Naming a guardian for your child
- Stripping your ex of power of attorney rights
When there is a change in your life circumstances
If you relocate to another state, you will also want to update your estate plan to comply with your domicile state’s laws. Likewise, if you experience a substantial change in assets (loss or acquisition), you’ll need to update your estate plan to reflect such change. For instance, if there are any changes to your company’s ownership (say, you’ve placed your business in a trust), then you will need to update your estate plan to reflect this change.
An estate plan speaks for you when you are no longer around to speak for yourself. Find out how you can ensure that your estate plan is up to date and, thus, enforceable.