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3 reasons to update your estate plan

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Estate Planning

Many people have not updated their estate plan since the first time it was drafted. This can create a lot of issues after you pass away. There may be assets unaccounted for that do not have a beneficiary named to claim them. This could create disputes between beneficiaries. 

It’s often believed that an estate plan should be updated every three to five years. This should be about long enough for someone to add more assets to their estate. However, you don’t need to wait five years to update your estate plan. You can make changes at any point and for a good reason. Here are a few reasons for you to alter your estate plan: 

Making changes after marriage

Many people make changes to their estate plans after marriage. This is often done so that a spouse is named as a primary beneficiary and to consider how shared assets are handled. A spouse may also be named as a power of attorney since they could have the testator’s best interests in mind. Furthermore, a spouse may also be named as a guardian of a child from another marriage. 

These changes may need to be reversed after a divorce. Leaving an ex-spouse in an estate plan could create complications for beneficiaries. 

Planning for your child’s future

People with children will often alter their estate plans. Testators will often name their children as beneficiaries. But, for younger children, a child guardian may need to be named in case both of the child’s parents suffer a severe accident. A trust can also be created to help fund a child’s future, such as their education or business. 

Planning for your future care

An estate plan may include features that help direct the testator’s future care. This may include a guardian for the testator and instructions for their long-term health care.

Before you begin updating your estate plan, knowing your legal options can help you make better decisions.