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Keeping Your Estate Plan Current Is Important

Estate planning documents should be reviewed periodically, particularly after significant life changes such as marriages, births, divorces, and moving to a new state. Children grow up, marriages dissolve, property gets sold, and residences change. That’s why we recommend you consult your estate planning attorney for an estate plan check-up every year or so. Your documents must be accurate to do their job properly.

What Happens If You Retire in Another State?

If you retire to another state, the laws in that state may affect your legal documents, such as powers of attorney. Documents from the “old” state might not work in the “new” one, and your documents won’t work for you when you need them.

How Does a Spouse or Ex-spouse Effect My Estate Plan

Suppose you willed your property to your spouse and appointed that person to be your power of attorney. You got divorced, but you never got around to changing your plan. The law would usually step in to prevent your ex-spouse from inheriting, but you might be stuck with that person holding a power of attorney over your property and health care decisions.

Maybe you named your ex-spouse’s father as your executor and agent. Now he can’t stand you and blames you for the breakup. Be sure to update your powers of attorney to ensure your wishes are followed.

How Do I Divide my Assets Equally among my Children?

Perhaps you willed your property to your two children equally – but now one child has an addiction issue. Your will didn’t restrict how money should be spent. If your addicted child inherits a lot of money in one chunk, that money could vanish quickly, and your child’s survival might be at risk.

Or, you deeded your house to one child and made a will leaving money to your other child. Consequently, one child may receive more value than the other. That unfairness might sour the children against each other forever. Updating your will with an estate planning attorney addresses changing circumstances and avoids potential conflicts regarding your intentions.

If you got divorced, sold property, moved to another state, or did your documents more than five years ago, come see our estate planning attorneys for an estate plan check-up. You may be surprised at how much changed. Once we’ve updated your plan, you’ll get a better sense of when to contact us again for another review.

When it comes to estate planning, “once is not done.” Our attorneys strive to develop ongoing relationships with clients to protect you throughout your lifetime. We get to know your family, discuss your financial and healthcare goals, and create a custom plan to accomplish them. Your plan may include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives, such as living wills. Each document must comply with changing state laws and regulations as well as adapt to changes in your life. An estate plan review each year or so provides added protection.

We hope you found this article helpful. Contact our office at 1 (800) 680-1717 and schedule a consultation to discuss your legal matters. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

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