An estate plan is a collection of documents that detail how you want your estate to get managed in the event of your death or incapacity. It’s important to keep these documents updated as your life changes, since it can have a significant impact on you and your loved ones.
When you move to a new state
Depending on the laws of the state you move to, your estate planning documents may no longer be valid. For example, if you have a will that was created in another state, it may not be considered valid in your new state of residence. Also, certain estate planning documents, such as trusts, can get governed by the laws of the state in which they were created.
When you get married or divorced
If you get married, your estate planning documents will need to get updated to reflect your new spouse. On the other hand, if you get divorced, you’ll want to remove your ex-spouse from your estate planning documents.
In both cases, it’s important to update your beneficiaries. Otherwise, your estate could end up going to someone you don’t want it to go to.
When you have children
If you have children, you’ll want to name them as beneficiaries in your estate planning documents. You may also want to appoint a guardian for them in the event that something happens to you and your spouse. Similarly, if you have children from a previous relationship, you’ll want to make sure that they’re taken care of in your estate plan.
When your financial situation changes
Losing your job, incurring debt, or coming into a large sum of money are all reasons to update your estate plan. You’ll want to make sure that your estate can cover any debts you may have, and you may want to change your beneficiaries if your financial situation has changed.
If any of these life changes have happened to you, it’s important to update your estate plan as soon as possible. Waiting to do so could have serious consequences for you and your loved ones.