If you have an estate plan in place, you can rest easy if little has changed in your life since you created that plan. If you have experienced significant changes, however, your plan may no longer provide the optimal asset protection and peace of mind you desire.
Divorce changes everything
The dissolution of a marriage is one of the main reasons to have an estate plan updated. If you have children from a prior marriage, the need to update is even stronger. Without revising your plan, loved ones you want to take care of may be left out of their share of your estate, while others may receive more than you think is fair.
Have you had good financial fortune since you last updated your estate plan? This may be a reason to revise your last will and testament, trusts and other estate planning documents. The same holds true if you have experienced financial setbacks. For instance, if you were planning on giving one child the house and the other accrued wealth, but financial pressures have depleted your savings, the outcome is not likely what you want for your children.
Even personal relationships can change
Part of a comprehensive estate plan is choosing people who will represent your interests in the event you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. Are the people you entrusted with this power still the optimal choices for this heavy responsibility? A power of attorney may have to make decisions that significantly affect your finances and medical treatment. You want to make sure the person who takes on this role is the right person today, and not twenty years ago.
Revising an estate plan does not have to be a difficult endeavor. By taking a few simple steps today you can gain the peace of mind that your interests, as well as your loved ones, are protected.