Estate planning is a necessary aspect of securing your assets and transferring wealth to your heirs. However, life is dynamic, and circumstances change over time.
It is important to know when to review and modify your existing estate plan so that your wishes continue to align with your current situation.
Life changes require plan adjustments
When your family grows, such as when you marry or have children, your estate plan should reflect the change. You likely wish to name your loved ones as beneficiaries or adjust the distribution of assets. Conversely, after a divorce, you might need to remove your ex-spouse from your plan.
Financial changes and estate planning
If your financial situation experiences a positive shift, it is wise to reassess your estate plan. Consider updating your plan to accommodate additional assets, investments or properties. On the flip side, if you find yourself facing substantial debts, revising your estate plan can help you settle any outstanding financial obligations.
A decline in health can necessitate modifications to your estate plan. Consider establishing healthcare directives, assigning power of attorney and adjusting beneficiaries. Modify your estate plan to incorporate provisions for any long-term care needs and the associated financial aspects.
Studies show that 67% of Americans do not have an estate plan. Even if you are in the minority and do have a will in place, though, it might not serve you fully if you do not update it regularly. Modifying your estate plan as necessary will help ensure a smoother transition for your family in the future.