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Know when to update an estate plan

Many adults know that they need to create an estate plan, but some might not realize that they need to update it once it's made. This is a mistake because there's a chance that certain points in the estate plan will need to be changed. There are several situations that can occur that could lead to this.

Most of the events that will require you to at least look at the will are major life events. If any of these occur, check your estate plan as soon as possible so you can ensure it still reflects your wishes:

  • You acquire more assets
  • You sell, lose or transfer assets
  • You have a child or your children age into adulthood
  • You have grandchildren
  • You get married
  • You get divorced
  • A beneficiary passes away
  • Your designees or administrator pass away
  • Beneficiaries need to be updated
  • Someone in the estate plan becomes irresponsible
  • Someone needs to be left out of the estate plan
  • Laws pertaining to the estate plan change
  • You move to a new state or country
  • The value of the estate increases considerably
  • A beneficiary gets on needs-based assistance programs

If you don't have any of these occur in your life, you should still take the time to review the plan every year or two just to make sure it's still set up how you want it. Your attorney can help you determine what changes, if any, must be made to reflect your wishes. Ensuring that you have things handled in a legal manner provides you with the peace of mind in knowing that your wishes are properly conveyed.

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