Life Changes, Estate Plan Changes

Life Changes, Estate Plan…

Even if you already have a comprehensive estate plan in place, you will need to review it periodically for any changes that you need or want to make to it. Changes in the law can require changes to your will and other estate planning documents; likewise, when you undergo major life changes, you also should review all aspects of your estate plan.

First, changes in your family composition always signal the need to review your estate plan and ensure that it is completely up-to-date with your situation. For instance, either a marriage or divorce is likely to result in changes to your estate plan. If you marry, you may want to add your spouse as an heir to your estate or a beneficiary to your trust. Similarly, if you divorce, you obviously will want to remove your former spouse as an heir to your estate or a beneficiary of your trust. The same goes for any life insurance policies, retirement plans, and pension plans that you own. All of these components of your estate plan have named beneficiaries that you likely will want to change in the event of a marriage or divorce.

The birth or adoption of a child is another life event that should trigger the review of your estate plan. While your children are minors, you will want to designate a guardian for them in your will. You also may want to set up a trust that specifically addresses the particular needs of your children. Furthermore, as your children grow, marry, have their own children, and perhaps divorce, you always should review your estate plan for any changes that you want to make. For example, if you want to make specific bequests to a grandchild, then you will need to amend your will and/or trust. You also may want to take steps to insulate assets meant for your adult child from his or her marriage and/or divorce.

These are only a few of the major life events that should prompt you to review your estate plan. As this post illustrates, planning for your family’s future is a complex process that can involve many different options, and those options are likely to change over time. By answering some of your questions and addressing your concerns, it is our hope that we can help you create the estate plan that is best for you and your family, while avoiding common pitfalls such as the holographic will. At Legacy Law Center, we are here to advocate on behalf of all individuals and their families who need help planning for the future. Contact us today at (734) 995-2383, set up an appointment with one of our Michigan estate planning attorneys, and discover how we can help you and your family.

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