Every person needs to have an estate plan to avoid conflicts among family members in the future. But, once you have made a plan, you need to update it whenever necessary. You should revise it periodically to ensure it reflects your current situation. An update should be done if your estate plan is at least three years old. Also, you must let your McKinney estate planning attorney review your estate plan if there is a change in the tax law or other laws that can affect your estate. The following are life events that may make it necessary to change your estate plan:
Changes in Assets or Liabilities
Assets and liabilities can change in value and when this happens to yours, you should review your estate plan. Take your time to review how your estate gets divided and decide whether to stick to the existing arrangement or introduce changes given the new circumstances.
Estate planning laws vary by state. Also, state laws vary on elements like living wills, power of attorney, and advanced medical directives. If you are planning to move out of state, you should update your estate plan after the move. The reason is that old documents may become invalid. Make sure to hire an estate planning attorney to establish proof of your change in residence. This is something you should do if you have a significant amount of property and relocate to a state with inheritance taxes. You should change your address; otherwise, your previous state may tax your estate.
Change of Trustee or Executor
You may want to change your trustee or executor if they become physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to perform their duties. A change is also necessary if your current trustee or executor does not want to serve anymore. If your current trustee or executor moves out of state, gets older, or passes away, you should also get a new one.
Outdated Retirement Plan
It is imperative to update beneficiary designations of IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans. Keep in mind that the beneficiary designation form determines the beneficiary of these accounts, not the will or trust. Every time you change beneficiary designations, update beneficiary designation forms.
Estate planning is an ongoing process. You should update your plan whenever public policies that affect your estate and your goals change. Talk to an attorney about how life events such as divorce, the birth of a new family member, or the death of a spouse can affect your estate plan.