You spend most of your life building your estate and passing on your legacy to the people who matter the most to you. So naturally, you would want to ensure proper control over your assets even after you pass on and distribute your wealth to the individuals and organizations of your liking. The best and easiest way to accomplish this is through proper estate planning.
Estate planning is an arrangement done by a property owner to prepare and preserve their wealth. One of the many common reasons people make estate plans is to secure their family’s way of life and minimize the tax burden for beneficiaries.
However, estate planning is not something you set and forget. You must update it regularly to ensure that your intentions align with the plan’s purpose. This means you need to make changes in your estate plan for the following major live events:
Marriage and Remarriage
If you recently got married, you must ensure that your new spouse is included in your plan. The same thing is true if you remarry –- you can make changes in your estate plan to remove your ex-spouse from your will and trust if this is something you wish to do.
If you’re not legally married and still wish to include your partner in your plan, you can do so. This is essential because your partner may not get anything under the law if you are not legally married unless it is specifically laid out in your will.
Many property owners name their new spouse or partner as a beneficiary, executor, trustee or financial agent who handles their financial affairs in the event of incapacitation. Making the necessary changes will prevent ambiguity and conflict down the line.
You may need an estate plan overhaul following your divorce. Any changes in the family will require you to revisit your will or trust in order to change your beneficiaries. In addition, you would likely want to remove your ex-spouse from your list of inheritors.
Of course, you may keep them in your plan if your split is amicable, but you still need to make small changes on how much of your estate they will receive in the event of your passing.
While this might seem like a lot of work, it’s a necessary process to prevent any potential fights among the family. Thankfully, you can do all these revisions quickly with the help of your estate planning attorney.
New Children in the Family
If you recently welcomed a new baby into your home, you must add them to your estate plan as soon as possible. This ensures all your children are taken care of financially in case something happens to you or your spouse.
The same thing also applies if you remarry and your new spouse has their own children. You can add them to your estate plan if you want to guarantee that your stepchildren are included in the distribution of your assets.
No one wants to think of their demise, which is why updating the estate plan takes a backseat. However, an unfavorable health diagnosis is a severe wake-up call for many, prompting them to get their affairs in order.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed with an illness, you must immediately contact your estate planning law firm to change your will or trust. Updating your plan gives you peace of mind knowing that you have a solid plan and allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Changes in Financial Status
Just like health, a person’s financial status is just as unpredictable, for better or worse. If you experience a significant increase or decrease in business or real estate that you own, you should reevaluate your financial situation and update your estate plan accordingly. Any change in wealth requires you to make changes in its allocation among your beneficiaries.
In addition, a significant increase in your assets means you need to alter your tax plan for an easy wealth transfer after you pass. An estate planning law firm also does tax planning, so mention this to your lawyer so they can set the wheels in motion.
Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney at Wiles Law
Make the necessary updates for your estate plan with the help of the attorneys at Wiles Law. We are a full-service estate, tax, and trust planning firm that assists clients in creating wills, trusts and wealth preservation strategies, allowing them to gain control of their property and distribute their assets to whomever they want in the most cost-effective way possible.
We are always willing to accommodate you whenever you need to make revisions to your estate plan. Contact us and let us know how we can help you.