When you do your estate planning, you do it in such a way that it is ironclad and will last a lifetime, however long that may be. While this should indeed be the way you do your estate planning, estate plans don’t last lifetimes. In fact, they should be reviewed and edited often during your hopefully long life. While you should look over it every now and then, there are actually specific life events that should merit looking and often changing your estate plan. Do you know what they are?
If you are swearing to spend your life with someone, obviously you would want them provided for if you pass away. However, while marriage is an event that merits reviewing your estate plan, dying without a Will still results in your new spouse receiving a portion of your estate, but that portion may not be as much or as little as you would have chosen to leave them.
Texas law automatically terminates any provision for a spouse upon divorce. So, if you get divorced and fail to update your Will, your ex-spouse still will not benefit from your Will. However, it is always best to review and modify your Will after a divorce so that you can confirm who will receive your assets and who will be your executors, trustees, etc.
Death of a Spouse
The death of a spouse is definitely a time to review your estate plan. Not only are they likely listed as a beneficiary and executor under your Will, but they are probably also listed as agent under your powers of attorney for financial and medical purposes. As a result of their deaths, you will need to update your estate plan to confirm your new beneficiaries and to designate new people to make medical and financial decisions for you.
Having a Child
The birth of a new child is always a time to review your estate plan. Have you provided financially for your child? Have you designated guardians for your child in the event that you and your spouse pass away? Have you established a trust to manage your child’s assets if you were to die before your child was old enough to manage their own money? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself when you experience the joy of having a child.
Have you gone through any of these life changes? Then it is time to update your estate plan. However, if you haven’t yet even started for planning for your family after your passing, contact us today.