An estate plan should not remain locked away after you create it. Certain life events necessitate revisions to keep it relevant.
When you fail to go back and bring your estate plan up to date, you run the risk of leaving your family behind a mess. One of the more responsible courses of action is to learn what life events warrant a change in your estate plan.
Did your relationship status change?
A life change that should spur you to change your estate plan is a change in relationship status. Whether you went from single to married or back to single, your property situation likely looks different. Marriage and divorce are two events that require modifications to your plan, concerning what you own and who gets it. You may also want to revise beneficiaries and power of attorney documents.
Did you become a parent?
Another momentous life event is becoming a parent. Once this happens, you become the primary caregiver for another. This necessitates a drastic change to your estate to include who will assume legal custody or guardianship of your children. For some, this prospect can become a point of stress. However, if you take the time to address it sooner, it alleviates a heavy burden.
Did you get an unfortunate diagnosis?
A medical diagnosis may send your life down a different path than you intended. If you receive bad news that may force you to stop working or address advanced care options, you should address these issues as part of your estate plan. A comprehensive plan should include how you want medical decisions handled should you become incapacitated. A living will and medical directives should help ease the stress from your family.
Continuing to plan for the care of your family as life changes will help ensure their security after your death.