Estate planning triggers: When to re-evaluate your estate planning strategy

Estate planning triggers: When to re-evaluate your estate planning strategy

Knowing the importance of estate planning is one thing, taking necessary steps to actually make a plan is another thing. Making an estate plan is a very prudent thing but it doesn’t just end there. A constant update of your estate plan is required every now and then. This update and re-evaluation of your estate plan can be triggered by various factors depending on the life events that occur around you. Some of these triggers include

Marriage

Now that you are married, there has to be an update or review of your estate plan. This is important as you will have to make provisions for your spouse in your estate plan. And in case you didn’t have one before, this is the time for you and your spouse to plan make one.

If you have an estate plan before marriage then neglecting to update your estate plan after marriage will definitely lead to crises should something happen to you. This could leave your spouse stranded and penniless as she won’t be able to access your assets or this could mean that your spouse won’t even have a share in your inheritance because your estate plan documents –say, your will – was not updated after marriage.

If there was no previous plan for either of you before marriage, then now is the time to discuss it and agree on how you would want your estate to be distributed in the case of one person’s death. You should also decide how to name ownership of your assets. This will make transfer of property from one partner to the other very easy if a partner should die.

Separation of a spouse

In the case of one spouse leaving the other, it is important your estate plan is updated. It could be in the case of death also the separation may be due to divorce. Whichever it is, a lot will defiantly change and these changes must reflect in your estate plan. For instance, the death of a spouse of which you named him or her as your executor. You will have to update this in your estate plan document –will –and give the role to someone else. Also, you will have to update your estate plan in order for you to assign what was supposed to go to him or her to someone else when you die.

Birth of a child or a grandchild

An additional baby means an additional heir; hence you have to plan your estate –if you don’t have one before – or update your existing estate in order to include the new born baby into your estate plan.

Acquiring a new property

This is a big trigger for estate planning as you want to include your newly bought duplex into your estate plan. This will help make sure that at your death, your properties are well catered for and they are easily accessible to your loved ones.

Government policies

I would rather say “changes in government policies”. Government policies can go a long way to affect an estate plan it could be in the sense of taxation. Certain policies might be favorable while others might not be but either ways, it is very important to re-evaluate your estate planning strategy in order to be on the favorable side of the new policy.

Relocation

This is another life event which triggers estate plan re-evaluation. On the occasion of relocation, re-evaluating your estate plan is very important as the laws of the state where you made your estate plan might be different from those were you relocated to. And if you happen to have assets here, they will be subject to the law of your new location.

Incapacity of an executor

When writing your will, you named someone as executor who will see to it that your will is followed to the letter. This person will be the one in charge of paying creditors, settling taxes etc. If while you are still alive something should happen to this person in question then there is need for you to re-evaluate your will and give this responsibility to someone else.

Re-evaluation of your estate plan is very useful as it helps to keep your plan current and up to date. Our estate Planning attorneys are always available for hire and consult.

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