update your estate plan

Most people think that estate planning is a one-and-done thing. For all the planning, paperwork, and strategy, you should only have to do it once, right? In reality, estate plans should be updated when necessary. There are several life events and circumstances that call for a revision of your estate plan. 

When should you revise or update your estate plan?

Change in Assets

A significant change in assets calls for a revision of your estate plan. Whether your assets increased or decreased, those changes must be reflected in various parts of your plan. Events such as purchasing or selling a property, receiving a large inheritance, or otherwise losing wealth mean that your will should be revised. 

You Had a Child

When you welcome a new family member through birth or adoption, you want to ensure that he or she is also included in your estate plan. Assigning a guardian, adding a beneficiary, and setting up trusts are all revisions you should make when a child is involved. 

You Got Married

Marriage is an excellent time to review your estate plans to include your new spouse. If you die without a will in Arkansas, your spouse will automatically get half of your property and other assets, but the process can be complicated and drawn out. Naming your spouse as a beneficiary or power of attorney can help protect him or her in the future. 

You Got Divorced

In the event of a divorce, you may wish to remove your ex-spouse from your will. You should also review who is listed as the beneficiary on your bank and investment accounts. Other aspects of your estate plan that should be reviewed include the executor of your estate, power of attorney, and more. When reviewing your estate after a divorce, be sure to follow the terms of your divorce.  

Moved to Another State

Different states have different laws surrounding estate plans and documents. For example, you may wish to name a new executor who lives in your current state. Out-of-state executors could have different rules or requirements regarding how they handle your estate. Additionally, your will may be interpreted differently in different states. Any time you move, you should revise every detail of your estate plan to reflect state laws. 

Illness or Disability

If you receive a diagnosis for a long-term illness or disability, you may wish to update your health care directive, living will, and give the rest of your estate plan another glance. Review or create a living will, which dictates the type of health care treatment you wish to receive. A power of attorney can also be named or revised to make medical decisions on your behalf. Just be sure to go over your health care plans with your family and loved ones, then have a lawyer review all your legal documents to ensure your wishes are respected. 

New Laws

State and federal laws can impact your estate plan in a number of ways. Consult with an estate planning attorney when it’s time to revise your will to see how any new laws may affect you. 

Update Your Estate Plan with L. Jennings Law

Are you ready to review your estate plan? At L. Jennings Law, we understand the importance of estate planning and how much it can impact the lives of you and your loved ones. We are knowledgeable in all aspects of estate planning and can help you start a plan or review your current one. Contact us today for a consultation to go over your options to find the best estate planning strategy for you. 

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