Top Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan in 2017

Your estate plan should be a living document, and there’s a good chance that it will evolve as you add and remove strategies going forward. As laws change or as the makeup of your family changes, the tactics and documents previously created may no longer apply.

There are several key things that could happen in the New Year that could warrant an updated estate plan:

  • Injury or Illness: Whether it’s a family member getting sick and you need to help them revise their plan or whether you’re concerned about your own health, having a power of attorney is strongly recommended. Your lawyer can help you determine what is most appropriate for your situation.
  • Divorce: Getting a divorce presents numerous changes in your life. Since your former spouse was probably linked to all your prior documents and plans, you need to have a sit-down with your estate planning attorney to walk through updates. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that since these plans were set up once that they are still fine.
  • Marriage: As with any family change, marriage represents a lot of financial and legal differences, too. Ensure that your estate plan is in line with your new spouse and any children. This becomes even more important if you’re getting remarried. 
  • Adoption of or birth of children: The birth or adoption of a child is an opportunity to revisit your estate plan. If you were childless before, there’s a solid chance your estate plan needs an overhaul. Make sure that you put in a call to your estate planning attorney as soon as possible so that you can update these important materials.

If you see change on the horizon in 2017, such as a marriage or the birth of a new child, take the necessary steps to have a conversation about your estate plan before it happens.


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