\When it comes to keeping your estate plan healthy, there are several questions you should ask yourself every year to help you decide when you need to schedule an appointment to update or modify your plan. The process of creating an estate plan is not one that ends after you have signed the final document and left your attorney’s office. While your attorney will keep you informed of any significant changes in the law that might affect your estate planning goals, there are some changes you will need to tell your attorney about if and when they take place. Asking yourself these yearly questions about estate planning should help you keep your plan up-to-date.
Estate Planning Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Year. Has my family situation changed?
When did you first make your estate plan? Was it while you were single, after you got married, or after the birth of your first child? Regardless of when you created your plan, it’s likely that your life has gone through some significant changes since then. Perhaps you have welcomed a new child into your family. Perhaps you have welcomed a grandchild, or experienced the loss of a parent or a sibling.
Regardless of what particular changes taking place, any significant change in your family circumstances should prompt you to call your attorney and ask whether you need to update your plan. While not every change in circumstances will require an updated estate plan, many do.
Estate Planning Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Year. Have I acquired new property?
Most estate plans are focused largely on the issue of your property, and what happens to it should you become incapacitated or die. While most of the average purchases you make in any year will not require you to update your estate plan, acquiring certain types of property should prompt you to make changes.
For example, should you purchase any new real estate, whether it’s located in the state of Florida or anywhere else, you should speak to your attorney about how this might affect your estate plan and your inheritance choices. Further, if you acquire any new assets that allow you to designate a transfer-on-death beneficiary, you should contact your attorney and update your inheritance plan to reflect these new properties.
Estate Planning Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Year. Is my marriage ending?
Anyone facing or considering a divorce or legal separation should speak to their estate planning attorney at the earliest possible opportunity. While your divorce attorney will guide you through the process of the divorce itself, you will need to make sure that your estate planning interests are protected both during the divorce process and after.