At MartinWren, P.C., we advise our clients to update or amend their estate plans every three to five years. Our estate planning attorneys understand how life events can necessitate these changes, however, we also know that people often overlook these important changes when it comes to how they may impact their estate plans. Meeting with your estate planning attorney every several years can ensure your plans are always where you want them to be.
Your estate plan may include the following tools that may need to be changed:
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Living Will
Some of the more common reasons why your plans should be updated include:
Marriage or Divorce
Marriage does not mean that your new spouse will automatically be added to your estate plan as a beneficiary. Divorce does not mean that your ex-spouse will automatically be removed as a beneficiary. These need to be physically amended by you, otherwise, your new spouse will not receive any part of your estate if something should happen to you. Conversely, your ex would still receive anything you have bequeathed to them in your estate plans even though you are no longer legally married.
Children: Adoptions, Birth, and Blended Families
There are many different ways families are made up today. It is common for a family to be blended, with children from previous marriages, stepchildren, an adopted children. No matter how your family is structured, an estate planning attorney can ensure that your estate plans reflect exactly what your wishes are when it comes to guardianship and financial decisions regarding children.
Moving to a Different State
Each state has its own estate laws. If you are moving to a different state, their laws may be different from your current state in areas that could affect your current estate plans. Having an attorney go over your plans to make sure that everything is legally applicable is important. This should also be done if you divide your time between two or more states during the year.
Removing or Adding Assets
After you initially set up your estate plan, you may buy and sell property or other assets during your life which should be addressed in your estate plan. This is also true for any assets or property you may inherit. Otherwise, these assets could become an issue after you have passed if members of your family are not in agreement with how these assets should be divided.
The Best Way to Avoid Issues
Meeting with and discussing your estate plan needs with an estate planning attorney from MartinWren, P.C. can help avoid any problems in the future. There could be critical changes needed to your current estate plan that you may not even consider. For example, what if you are leaving property to a beneficiary that you no longer want to receive anything or what if the person you have named guardian for your children is someone you no longer even speak with? Contact our office today for assistance.