So you have created a comprehensive estate plan that outlines how you wish to have your assets distributed when you pass on? Congratulations!
That’s just the start, however. To remain effective and reflective of your wishes, you are going to need to review and revise your estate plan from time to time. Failing to keep your estate plan up to date can negatively affect your goals and your family.
Here are two important life events that should call for a review and update of your estate plan.
Besides changing your relationship status, marriage also changes your legal status. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your estate plan is reflective of your current needs and wishes. Here are a few revisions you need to make on your estate plan after getting married:
- Making your spouse a beneficiary on your retirement accounts and insurance policies
- Adding your spouse to your trust and/or will
- Granting your spouse the medical and/or durable power of attorney
Just like marriage, divorce too changes your relationship and legal status. If you’re newly divorce, you need to strip your ex-spouse of the power to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf.
Also, you need to ensure that your future ex is no longer a beneficiary of your assets. You will need to update your estate plan to reflect your current asset profiles after the marital property has been divided.
Creating an estate plan is a significant accomplishment. It can also bring the peace of knowing that your future, loved ones and interests are safeguarded. However, your wishes and efforts can be dismantled if you fail to update your estate plan following these major life events.