Review Your Estate Plans After These Major Life Events

Posted on: 10 September 2018

Estate planning is important to consider once you reach adulthood. Having legal documentation that declares what will happen with your assets in the event of your passing and that names who will serve as the executor of your estate will save your loved ones considerable turmoil and expenses. While it's important to make these plans, this isn't a document that you should keep locked away and never reconsider. A variety of changes in your life should compel you to review your estate plans and, in some scenarios, consult your attorney about making some changes. Here are some life events that should compel you to review your plans.

Marriage

A lot of people don't consider estate planning until they're married and/or have children, but forward-thinking people will take care of these affairs well before these events. If you have recently gotten married, you and your spouse should review your wishes for your estate. For example, if you've only recently moved out on your own and have a close relationship with your parents, you may have any assets that you own going to them upon your death. In all likelihood, you'll want to change your beneficiary to your spouse.

Deaths

It's possible that those to whom you plan to leave your assets may pass away. Don't let your grief make you forget to consult your estate plans, and have your attorney help you with some changes. For example, if you had plans to leave some money or perhaps even some physical assets to a sibling, but he or she has recently passed away, you'll want to revisit your estate plans and remove this person as a beneficiary. In some cases, you'll want to select someone new altogether. Or you may make a special consideration, such as rewriting the document so that your sibling's spouse or children receive something from you.

Relationship Changes

People often think to change their estate plans after a divorce, and this is obviously a good idea. However, they might overlook the value in reconsidering their plans as their relationships with different people change. For example, if you've had a serious falling out with a family member whom you've previously listed as one of your beneficiaries, you may want to make a change to your plans. Of course, removing someone as a beneficiary is a major decision and one that you shouldn't take lightly. If you feel that this change is best, however, consult your attorney to revise the document.

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