Having an estate plan allows you to protect your assets, give guidance to your heirs and plan for a successful future. Forgetting to update it as your life changes can render it inoperable.
Knowing when to modify your plan can help you preserve its integrity and function over time. With a reliable strategy in place, you can look to the future with confidence.
Every time you make a change to your plan you will want to verify that each update reflects on your formal legal documentation. U.S. News reports that a staggering 56% of Americans do not have an updated plan. Merely thinking about the changes you want to make is not enough to guarantee those changes.
There are a number of circumstances under which you will want to make modifications to your original strategy. These include the following:
- You birth or adopt more children into your family
- You marry, divorce or remarry
- You takeover caretaking responsibilities for a disabled family member
- You start, take over or close a business
- You suffer a life-changing disability or illness
- You want to add or remove heirs
While death is a rather unpleasant thing to think about, it could happen at any time. If you have changes to make in your estate plan, procrastination could ultimately jeopardize your final wishes. As soon as you notice an update that needs to happen, work with your legal team to make the changes formal and legitimate.
For notable modifications to your estate plan, it might be a good idea to inform your family members and heirs. They might appreciate hearing directly from you about the changes. This could reduce confusion, as well as the risks of inheritance disputes. Having an updated estate plan can give the people you love clarification and understanding as they prepare to close your estate.