Creating an estate plan is an effective way to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes while minimizing hardships that could otherwise result for loved ones and friends. However, creating a comprehensive estate plan is often just the beginning and there are important reasons why you can and should revise your estate plan. A recent article from Forbes lists the following as important reasons to revise your estate plan:
Significant Changes in Value of Estate
A significant change in the value of your estate may be reason for you to reevaluate how you want your assets to be distributed. You may wish to increase the number of people you include as heirs or adjust the amount you have chosen to distribute. A significant change in the value of your estate should be accompanied by appropriate revisions to your estate plan.
Changes in Tax Laws
Tax laws are continuously changing, including those that apply to assets potentially distributed through your estate. It is a good idea to consult an experienced estate planning lawyer to help you stay on top of evolving tax laws that could effect the value of your estate as well as how you plan to distribute your assets.
Divorce is a difficult process that might change the way you want to distribute your assets. Once a divorce is finalized, it is a good idea to revise your estate plan accordingly. It is also important to consider measures for your estate plan that can help protect your heirs in case of their future divorce.
Birth or Adoption
The birth or adoption of a child can be a joyous occasion. However, it is also important to revise an existing estate plan to include your children. Your estate plan can include more than just provisions to provide for your child’s future financial well-being, such as including a provision to appoint a legal guardian for your children in case you and your spouse are deceased or become incapacitated to such a degree that you are no longer able to care for them on your own.
If you have gotten divorced and decide to remarry, you may wish to include your new spouse in your estate plan. Revising your estate plan will allow you to do this, and will also allow you to add in considerations for children of a blended family. Additionally, much like you can include provisions that can protect your heirs’ inheritance in case of divorce, you can also include provisions to help protect your heirs and their dependents in case of their remarriage.
Illness or Injury
Serious injury and/or illness can have a significant financial impact on a family. In addition to medical bills, there is the potential need for long-term care, too. If you become seriously injured or sick, it may have an impact on the assets you have in your estate plan and you will need to revise your estate plan accordingly. Additionally, when a family member becomes seriously ill or injured you may wish to adjust your estate plan to account for their increased needs both financially and medically in an effort to ensure that they are protected and provided for.