Creating Estate Planning documents can (and will) leave you with the peace of mind that your family is protected. It is very important to review your documents at least once per year to see if anything changed in your circumstances.
So, what kind of life events could lead to the need for changes? Please find a (non-exhaustive) summary of these important events below:
When one of your Agents/Executors/Trustees/Beneficiaries Passes Away: You selected this person to be a key decision-maker because you love and trust them a great deal. If something happens to them, your first instinct will be grief – not its effect on your Estate Plan. However, it will be very important to revise your documents and select new decision-makers to replace them.
Grandchildren: Becoming a first-time grandparent is one of the greatest joys life has to offer. This milestone is also an important time to consider your Estate Plan – depending on your situation, it may be the first time a minor child could receive from your estate.
Because minors cannot receive shares outright, their share will have to be held by a court-approved custodian. This can be a very lengthy and tedious process that is avoided with a Revocable Trust.
Marriage/Divorce: Any time your marital status changes, you will need to revise your Estate Planning documents. Even though divorce typically precludes your former spouse from receiving, you will want to “clean up” your documents to make your estate as easy as possible to manage.
Moving out of State: Whenever you move to a new state, you should meet with a Trusts and Estates attorney from your new state to have your documents reviewed.
Purchasing Your First Home: A home is typically one of the largest assets many of us have. For most first-time homebuyers, it can turn your assets into what the courts would consider a “regular estate” from a “small estate”. This elevation comes with significant additional work in the probate process.
Significant Change in Financial Situation: Perhaps you initially prepared your documents when your finances were simpler. Maybe a family member left you a large share of their estate. Any time you experience a significant change in your financial circumstances, you should meet with an Estate Planning attorney to see how it affects your estate plan.
Please call us if you would like help protecting your money and loved ones in the event of death or disability. You can call out Client Intake Manager at 301-696-0567 during regular business hours, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, schedule online at lenaclarklegal.com, or speak to one of our 24-hour representatives after hours.