Life changes and so your estate plan needs to change to reflect those changes. It is unrealistic to assume that your estate plan set up to reflect your life situation at one point is going to work years later after any changes have taken place. The below family situation will illustrate that fact.
Meet the Smiths
The Smiths set up their first estate plan when their daughter was born, 30 years ago. When their son was born four years later they updated their estate plan. At a living trust seminar 10 years ago they set up a fantastic trust-based plan which protected them, their children, grandchildren and their dog.
But the Smith family did not join the client maintenance program and decided to be the ones to call and update their estate plan. Things got busy and they did not update their plan.
Their children are now adults and done with college. Their daughter married and has two daughters, one of them with autism. Their son is also married and expecting his first child. Mrs. Smith’s mother is now living in their home with them. A vacation home was purchased in Florida. With all these changes will their estate plan still work the way they want it to?
Changes in Your Own Life
The Smith family has had a lot of changes happen in the last 10 years but changes that are expected in a family. There have likely been changes in your life in the last 10 years or since you last updated your estate plan.
Maybe you have moved, had children or grandchildren, started a business, dealt with health problems, or purchased a new home? Have you started new accounts and investments? Are you taking care of a parent, pets or dependent children? Has a marriage, divorce or retirement taken place? Have friends you listed in your plan moved or has your relationship with them changed? Do you have different beliefs or ideas of life?
Things have changed in your life and your estate plan needs to be updated to show those changes in your personal life, financial situation and your goals. The laws change too and so updates need to be made to ensure things happen the way you want them to happen.
Is Your Estate Plan Out-of-Date?
If you have experiences changes in your life like the Smith family or it’s been more than five years since you last updated your estate plan, it is out of date. Set up an appointment with our office and we will sit down with you and review your plan making sure life changes and law changes are updated. Your estate plan needs to reflect your life situation now in order to function correctly and smoothly.