Planning what happens to your possessions after you die may not sound like an exciting way to spend a day, but the alternative is leaving a mess for your family to muddle through.
You may have created a plan years ago. However, did you know that there are times when you should revisit the plan and revise it? Take a look at some of the life events that necessitate the creation or revision of your estate plan.
Whether you created a will or not, when you purchase property, you should always have something. A piece of property in your name warrants handling after your death. Therefore, update or create your estate documents soon after purchase, or if using the same law firm for both transactions, do it simultaneously. This ensures that the property goes to the proper recipients should anything happen to you.
Your wedding day is something to look forward to, but did you know that it also means you should revise your estate plan? You may have created something when you were footloose and fancy-free, but now you have a spouse who may have an automatic claim to things like joint purchases and accounts. Even so, you may want to name your spouse as executor or divvy up your premarital property differently.
Another benchmark that necessitates a change in your estate plan is having children. Aside from changing the way you deal with assets and property, your plan should now include a chain of guardianship for the children should you die before they reach 18. You may also want to set up trusts for guardians to manage on your children's behalf.
When spouses separate and divorce, chances are, their estate plans will need some changing. Having an ex-spouse as an executor or as the sole beneficiary of assets from the estate may not make sense after the split. You may want to consult with your estate planning attorney prior to your divorce to figure out the best course of action.
Life ebbs and flows with ups and downs. Having a solid estate plan through each milestone can protect your loved ones from additional heartache after you pass.