You may have already written your estate plan, but there are times when you may need to update it as life changes. To make sure your wishes are carried out how you would want after you pass away, you must always make sure that the right people are appointed and included, and that the documents reflect your current circumstances and relationships. Here are examples of reasons you may need to update your estate plan as soon as possible:
You are getting married or divorced.
Changes to dynamics in your family can occur at any time, and when or if it does, you have to ensure that your estate plan reflects those life changes. For instance, if you recently got married again, then you must remove your ex-spouse if you have yet to do so already. The same goes for if you were recently divorced but are not entering a new marriage yet. Update your documents as quickly as you can, so that you are not risking your ex-spouse receiving your money and other assets. Keep in mind however, there is no requirement that you do so. If you still have a strong relationship with your ex-spouse and there is no hostility, then maybe you want him or her to have what you already designated for them to receive from your estate after you pass away. This is a personal choice that only you can make.
You have biological, adopted, or step-children.
If you have kids, then you have to revisit your estate plan for every time you expand your family. You have to make sure your documents are written to reflect your children and what you want them to receive from your assets upon your passing. If your new spouse has kids from another relationship, then you can include them in your estate plan if you so wish. Stepchildren are not usually considered beneficiaries of an estate, unless they are specifically mentioned, so you will have to take the time to add them if that is something you want to do. Ideally, an estate plan includes all of your children, biological, adopted, and/or stepchildren. But if you want to intentionally disinherit a child or other relative from your estate plan, then you must write terms that express this. Your lawyer can help you write a statement of disinheritance according to an estate planning attorney at Silverman Law Office, PLLC, so that it is legally-binding in the future.
You want to change your beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries are people or charity organizations that you want to have a portion of your estate after passing away. Many people choose their immediate family members, close friends, other relatives, and charity organizations as beneficiaries. But perhaps one or more of your relationships has changed, meaning that you don’t want a certain person to be listed as a beneficiary anymore. Unless you take the step to officially remove this beneficiary, then it will not be done. If beneficiaries have died before you do, then you must revise the estate plan to add new beneficiaries or redistribute property among those you have already chosen.