What aspects of my estate plan should I revise in the new year?
It is common for a full year to be filled with changes. This is why it is recommended that you revisit your estate plan in the new year to discover if your estate plan will need to be updated to reflect your life changes over the past year.
Below is a list of various scenarios and aspects of your estate plan that may need to be updated:
- A new child is born: If you or your children recently gave birth or adopted a new child, this will likely require a revision in your estate plan to ensure asset distribution better reflects your new family member.
- One of your beneficiaries has predeceased you: If you have lost a loved one who was one of your beneficiaries, you will need to adjust your estate plan accordingly. This update is necessary because if you pass away and certain assets are still set to go to this person who has passed this year, it may cause serious confusion amongst your family.
- You wish to appoint a guardian: If you have had a child this year, this part of your estate plan should be a priority to change. If your child is still a minor and you pass away, appointing a guardian will allow you to choose a party you know and trust to care for and raise your child as you would have. Without doing this step, this decision will likely be made by the court.
- You were recently married or divorced: If you have been married or divorced this year, this will play a large role in your estate plan. If you were to pass away after being divorced and not updating your estate plan, your firmer spouse will likely get those assets if they are still a beneficiary. It is important to update your estate plan to prevent this. If you have been married, you will likely want to make your new spouse a beneficiary in your will.
- Tax laws have changed: If the tax law has changed over the past year, this may have a valid cause for hiring an attorney to review your estate plan to ensure it does not need to be updated and everything is in proportion.
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