For many people, once they finalize their estate plan, they figure they’re all set. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Things can change quickly in both your personal and financial life and unless you regularly update your documents, you can risk having your hard-earned assets go to someone you didn’t want to receive them. Meeting regularly with an experienced estate planning lawyer can help ensure this doesn’t happen.
When to Update Your Estate Plan
Whether it’s a new child or grandchild being born, a change in your relationship with a friend or relative, or a teenage child coming of age, your life is full of major changes that can affect your estate plan. In addition, your financial situation might change which could affect how you want your estate administered. When one of these events occurs, it is a good idea to look over your documents and make sure that they are up-to-date and that your intended beneficiaries are the ones who will receive your possessions after you pass.
Other life events that may occur that warrant a review or update of your estate plan include:
- Marriage or divorce
- A major change in your health status, such as a major accident or diagnosis with a serious disease
- Death of a beneficiary, trustee, or executor
- Inheritance of a significant asset or assets
Even if none of these events occur, it is still a good idea to review your estate plan every few years just to make sure everything is in order. Even if you don’t experience a major life change, your wishes concerning the distribution of your property may have changed without you realizing it.
Here are a couple of other considerations when it comes to keeping your estate plan up-to-date.
- Properly Funding Your Estate. One mistake that many people make is setting up a trust and then not transferring over all their assets to the trust. This prevents the assets from directly going to your intended beneficiary. Instead, they may be subject to probate where a judge may decide their distribution. Periodic reviewing of your estate plan is a great way to make sure you are properly funded.
- Changes in Laws. The Secure 2.0 Act of 2022, passed recently by Congress, includes several major changes to the way that retirement accounts function in your estate plan. It is a good idea to update your estate plan to reflect these changes as soon as possible. In addition, the Spousal Elective Share Law, which protects a spouse from being disinherited, has recently changed. Laws like these are passed all the time which is why it is important to meet regularly with an estate planning attorney to make sure you stay on top of the changes.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center
If you have any questions about keeping your estate plan up-to-date and protecting your family, please do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced attorneys at Deliberato Law Center. Give us a call at 216-341-3413 or fill out the form below to get started.