Once an estate plan is established, people sometimes forget that it needs to be updated periodically. But this is not a good idea. Your life changes – and so should the dynamic documents within your estate plan.
New marriage, divorce, death of a loved one… all of these are reasons to update your estate plan.
It’s necessary to update your estate plans and some documents within it. Dynamic documents are ones that change over time. They can include your:
Wills and Trusts
These designate who you want to leave your possessions to and how you want your assets distributed after you pass away. You may not want to leave your treasured items to an ex. Or give the house to a loved one who has already passed away.
Power Of Attorney
A POA grants another person the authority to temporarily act on your behalf when you cannot. They can sign documents, enter into contracts and manage your personal and financial affairs. This can be revoked when you can take over again. You want to give this power to someone you trust.
Health Care Directive
This document assigns the person who can make medical decisions on your behalf. They understand your medical wishes and can even make end-of-life decisions for you. Your ex-spouse may not be the best person for these decisions.
Retirement Accounts –
While you may not need to change your retirement plans, you might want to change your beneficiaries. Changes in your life can mean changes to beneficiaries.
Establishing your estate plan is a huge accomplishment. But you can’t assume it’s done, and you can forget about it. It is necessary to update your estate plan as your life changes. An estate planning attorney will help you update all documents, ensuring that they all work together. For example, when you update your will after a new marriage, you can’t forget to double-check who is your power of attorney.
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