Even the best-laid plans may need to be revisited and updated periodically to ensure they conform to your wishes. The following are several of the most common events that necessitates revisiting, or possibly revising, your estate planning documents:
1. Marriage. Did you, a child or another family member named in your estate plan get married since your plan was created or last updated? Marriage will cause many clients to reassess how a will, trust, beneficiary designations, insurance policies, powers of attorney, or other important estate planning documents should or should not be amended.
2. Divorce. Failing to re-evaluate your estate plan both during a pending legal separation and divorce (as well as post-divorce) could result in unintended consequences including who will be your decision maker under state law.
3. Taxes. Taxes are a major consideration when creating any estate plan, and tax laws change frequently. Every state has its own laws governing estate planning and inheritance taxes. In addition, federal tax law, can have a major impact on your estates and how much your heirs or beneficiaries stand to inherit.
4. Retirement. Retirement is a life change that often requires an estate plan re-evaluation, and it is particularly important if you have a 401(k) or an IRA. It is critical to consider whether current plans need updated beneficiary designations.
5. Birth of a child or grandchild. Adding children or grandchildren to an estate plan is a great way to both protect them and provide for their future.
6. Death. A death in the family may also require a re-evaluation if the deceased person was named in your estate plan. If a deceased spouse was your main beneficiary, then you will need to designate someone else as soon as possible. You may also need to update other estate planning documents such advance directives and financial powers of attorney.
7. Change in financial condition. Did you inherit money or sell a business? These and other changes to your financial situation can have a dramatic effect on your estate plan and require additional planning.
If you’re interested in talking with the attorneys at Welts, White & Fontaine PC about estate planning, including wills and trusts, trust administration and probate matters please contact us by clicking here or by calling (603) 883-0797. Welts, White & Fontaine is one of Nashua’s largest, multi-practice law firms and serves the legal needs of both individuals and businesses in towns such as Amherst, Milford, Hudson, Brookline, Windham, Hollis, Merrimack, Litchfield, Bedford, Londonderry, Pelham, and, of course, Nashua.
Author: John Polgrean
This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.