Many people recognize the importance of getting an estate plan. They go through the process of getting all the proper documents with a lawyer and think that they have everything that they need and are protected if anything should happen to them in the future. Although this is a great first step, it is important to note that the estate plan will need updates and changes made throughout your life. Here are some things to consider with your estate plan.
1. With Any Change In Marriage or Family Status, You Should Revisit Your Estate Plan
One of the biggest reasons to adjust your estate plan is if you have a change in your marital status or your family. When you initially write your estate plan you will name your spouse and they will most likely play a vital role in your estate. Even though you might get a divorce, your ex-spouse may still have claim to your estate if you don't change these documents. This is why you need to get those estate planning documents adjusted at the same time that you go through the divorce.
In addition, if you get re-married, make sure you update your estate plan to reflect the changes. This also relates to the birth and death of children.
2. Don't Forget To Include Stepchildren or Foster Children
Your biological children have legal claim to your estate simply by being blood relatives. This means that in many cases they don't have to be named specifically in your trust or will to get their benefits from your estate. However, any children that are not biologically or legally yours will not be included. For instance, if you have stepchildren or foster children that you have raised and consider family, unless you specifically state them in your estate plan they will be left out. Thus, if you have a blended family or any special circumstances make sure you make the necessary changes to your estate plan.
3. Any Major Changes In Your Financial Status Should Merit An Update To Your Estate Plan
Lastly, if you have had any major changes in your financial status you need to meet with your attorney from a firm like Linn Schisel & DeMarco Attorneys At Law. There are ways to protect wealth and investments so that they don't become overtaxed when you pass away. Trust funds are a great way to get your money to your loved ones and protect it. If you simply assume that your wealth will just pass to your family, think again. It is important that you meet with an attorney to ensure your wealth is protected.
By understanding these things you can be sure that your estate plan reflects what you want.