Your estate may have been created when your life was relatively simple, such as if you created power of attorney documents when you headed off to college. However, you may need to update your estate plan at multiple points throughout your life based on changes in your life, and outside circumstances.
Estate planning is valuable on a regular basis, even without a specific prompt. That’s because you never know when something can happen and the best time to plan is in advance of any issues.
Estate planning deals with the management, preservation and distribution of your assets due to incapacitation or after you pass away. As your life changes, you may need to update these estate planning strategies because your goals may shift as well. Here are some of the most important life events that call for an update in your estate plan:
- Getting married
- Separating or getting a divorce
- Having children
- Buying a piece of property since you may wish to invest in life insurance to help pay for the mortgage if something happens to you
- Substantial changes in your personal wealth
- An update in your medical condition or a diagnosis of a serious illness or ongoing disability
- The death of someone who has been named as a decision maker in your own estate planning documents such as a trustee, or a power of attorney agent
All of these circumstances should prompt you to revisit your estate planning lawyer’s office to discuss options. Don’t wait, however, for something big to happen in your life to get you into the office to discuss your personal plan. Even creating a simple plan now makes things easier for your loved ones after you pass away and certainly for you if you become incapacitated.