As time passes, people and families are constantly evolving. Are your relationships all exactly the same as they were a few years ago? Probably not. Are your goals for the future stagnant and unchanging? We doubt it.
While many people mistakenly believe that estate planning can be a one-and-done type of thing, the truth is that your estate plan needs to evolve along with you. It should be updated periodically to reflect your changing relationships and changing goals. In today’s blog post, we’re looking at four scenarios in which you need to sit down with an attorney to update your plan.
1. You get married or divorced.
A change in your marital status should be a trigger to immediately review your estate plan. If you get divorced, you likely no longer want your assets to pass to your ex-spouse. When you get married, you and your new spouse will likely each bring your own assets into the marriage. You’ll want to make a plan for how they should be handled. Many people who remarry choose to set aside assets to pass on to children from their previous marriage in case their new spouse outlives them. Changing relationships certainly necessitate updates to your plan.
2. Children or grandchildren are born.
When you welcome new family members, it’s a good idea to update your estate plan to include them. This may include adding them as beneficiaries of a trust or rebalancing the way your heirs will inherit assets from you.
3. You experience a significant change in your financial situation.
If, for example, you receive a large inheritance yourself, you will want to make arrangements for how it will be handled if you pass away. You also need to update your estate plan when you acquire new real estate, sell valuable properties, or make other changes that significantly impact your finances.
4. More than three years have passed since you last reviewed your plan.
Even if none of the events listed above have occurred, we recommend reviewing your estate plan at least once every three years. This will help you adjust if your feelings or your goals change over time. It will also give you a chance to make the changes necessary as children grow up and their needs shift.
If you need to update your estate plan, the Solan, Park & Robello team is here for you. We can help you create a plan that is perfectly tailored to your family, your needs, your goals, and your values. Give us a call at (415) 777-3300 to get started!