As life goes on, essential milestones come along such as getting married, remarried, having children, or retiring which can warrant changes to your estate plan. It is recommended that your estate planning documents, including last will, Revocable Living Trusts, Power of Attorney, and others be reviewed with an estate planning attorney at least once every 3-5 years. However, if any significant events in your life occur it is strongly suggested that you meet with an estate planning attorney as soon as possible.
When getting marrying, you and your spouse should discuss any financial situations regarding your future. One important topic to address is the distribution of all your assets. Additionally, a couple should consider whether they would be interested in setting up a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a written contract created before marriage that typically lists all the property each person owns and indicates what each person’s property rights will be after they get married. A prenup not only clarifies financial rights but may also allow the couple to get protection from debts and pass along property to children. Overall, it is essential to revisit any prior estate plans when you are getting married to avoid any conflicts and to ease the transition into married life.
Another milestone that may affect your estate plan is having children. The decision to start a family is a joyous one, but it comes with the responsibility for planning the children’s care as long as they are minors. Decisions to be made include what portion of your assets will be distributed to your children in case of your death as well as the age that they would have access to these assets. Delegating a legal guardian for your children in case of a death is crucial as well.
Changes in Finances and Health
A change in financial status, whether large or small, requires you to update your estate plan. Such changes include but are not limited to launching or selling a business, filing for bankruptcy, and receiving an inheritance. It is strongly recommended to revisit your estate plan in order to make the necessary updates in regard to your financial status. Additionally, if you face any changes to your health such as being diagnosed with a serious health condition, you should reevaluate your estate plan. By taking another look and making sure that your estate plan is up-to-date you are ensuring that your assets will be transferred successfully and no further complications will likely arise.