A living trust or a will ensures that your estate is passed to your children, grandchildren, or other beneficiaries. It’s a good idea to set up your estate plan while you’re still relatively young and in good health. However, you may need to occasionally update this plan during your lifetime. Changes in your family makeup, financial situation, or place of residence may trigger the need for trust and will reviews. Learn more about the career, family, and asset changes that require additional estate planning.
1. Getting Married
Your will helps ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone, while a living trust goes into effect during your lifetime. If you’re newly married, it’s important to add your spouse as a beneficiary in your will or trust. A marriage or a divorce could invalidate your existing estate plans, so make sure your plan is up to date. And if you and your spouse have major asset holdings, you may want to take advantage of the protection a prenuptial agreement provides.
2. Getting a Divorce
If you’re divorced, you may want to remove your former partner as one of the beneficiaries listed on your will, life insurance policy, and retirement accounts. And if you previously gave your spouse power of attorney or designated them as your healthcare proxy, you may want to change those designations, as well.
3. Births and Adoptions
When you have a baby or adopt a child, an updated estate plan helps ensure your child is included as a beneficiary. And when grandchildren are born, many people do the same. To ensure your children or grandchildren receive their inheritance at the appropriate time, some people choose a living trust over a will. With a trust, you can specify the age at which a child receives an inheritance, whereas a will typically releases funds when a child turns 18.
4. Death of a Loved One
If your spouse passes away, you should update your will to change your beneficiary and power of attorney. And if a child or grandchild passes during your lifetime, updating your estate plan helps ensure their portion is reallocated to the surviving siblings or children. It’s often recommended not to rely on generic language in a will that references “afterborns.” The probate court process to clarify beneficiaries could cost more than simply paying to revise your will.
5. Opening New Accounts
If you open a new investment or savings account, be sure to revise your estate plan accordingly. If you don’t, these new assets will likely go through probate before they’re transferred to your beneficiaries.
6. Owning a New Business
If you back a business or start an enterprise, it’s a good time to also revise your estate plan. At this point, you’ll need to decide if you want to name a successor or sell off the business after you die. And if you sell your ownership shares in a business, make sure your estate plan changes reflect the updates in your asset holdings, as well.
7. Buying or Selling a House
Putting your home in a trust allows you to transfer it to your beneficiaries after you pass away, and they won’t have to go through what can be a costly probate process to inherit the home. If you buy a new home or sell your current home, your estate plan should be updated to correctly reflect your real estate holdings. If the house is already held in trust and you refinance, make sure your lender puts the property back in the trust after the refinancing process is complete.
After you pass away, do you want to transfer the property to a specific beneficiary? Or would you rather have the property sold and the proceeds distributed among your children? Whatever you decide, you should make sure that your estate plan clearly addresses your wishes.
Finally, if you’re selling your current home because you’re moving to another state, consult an experienced estate planning attorney. They can review your trust or will to verify that it complies with the requirements in your new state of residence.
Prepare For the Future with Park Place Financial
When your estate plan is accurate and up to date, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved ones will be well cared for after you’re gone. Choose an experienced advisor at Park Place Financial for timely trust and will reviews. There are many ways our team can help ensure your estate plan evolves alongside you. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary financial checkup.