estate planningOur lives change as we do. We grow, we learn new things, we pass major life milestones such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child. At each step, having an estate plan can help protect you and those you love. And at each subsequent step, ensuring your estate plan still meets your needs is essential as well.

Your estate plan at age 30 will be vastly different than your estate plan at age 60. There are a number of reasons that you may want to make an update to your estate plan, and they may occur at any point in your life. New people may enter your life, people may pass away, or you may acquire assets that you never expected to have.

So when is it time to update your estate plan? Consider doing so after any of the following major events.

1.  Marriage or Remarriage

Whether you’re tying the knot for the first time or have found love after loss, a marriage is always an excellent time to ensure that your estate plan protects your new spouse, as well as your existing children or stepchildren in the new marriage.

2.  Divorce

Although you may have separated from a former spouse, your estate plan may still name your former spouse as your personal representative, beneficiary, or participant in other key roles. It’s important to ensure your updated estate plan reflects the change in your life.

3.  Birth/Adoption of a Child

When you welcome a new child into your home, your days are a whirlwind of family events and busy activity. It’s important to ensure you’ve protected your child, however, by ensuring your estate plan provides for their specific needs.

4.  Empty Nest

Now that your children have grown and moved out of the house, updating your estate plan to reflect their newly-gained adult status can help remove unnecessary information and ensure your children are protected if something should happen. Adding one or more adult children as trustees or providing power of attorney can also be accomplished during this update.

5.  Death in the Family

If you’ve lost anyone who might have been affected by your estate plan, including a spouse or child, it’s important to update that plan to reflect the fact that this person has predeceased you. Doing so protects the family members who remain, and also lets you ensure your own needs are still addressed by the plan you have made.

6.  Major Purchase or Sale

Bought a business? Sold a house? Updating your estate plan can help ensure that the plan protects any change in assets in a way that minimizes tax implications, and ensures you can pass on the results of your work to the next generation.

Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer Today

The attorneys at Beller & Bustamante, P.L., can help you make necessary updates to your estate plan today and in the future, so that you and your loved ones stay protected. Schedule a consultation with us by calling 904-288-4414, or use our online contact form to request an appointment.