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Updating Your Estate Plan at the Beginning of Each Year

Making Changes Because of Many Changes

With the new year upon us, now is the perfect time to review your estate plan and make necessary changes. Many adjustments to your life or to your family’s lives may have occurred within the last year, and it’s important to update your estate plan accordingly to reflect these changes.

Here are a few life events that may have occurred within the last year that may cause you to revise your estate plan.

Births or Deaths

With exciting new additions and unfortunate losses to families comes the need to review (and potentially revise) the beneficiaries listed within your estate plan. For example, if you add a new little one to your family, then you may wish to name them as a beneficiary of the assets you wish they inherit. Likewise, if you suffer a loss in your family and that person was listed as a beneficiary or executor in your estate plan, you will want to remove them from your estate plan and reallocate to who you wish to receive those assets or individual to serve as your executor or the power of attorney on your behalf.

Relationship Changes

Similarly, a change to your relationship status may warrant an adjustment to your estate plan, and specifically to your beneficiaries list or executor status. If you were married within the last year, you may want to list your new spouse as a beneficiary of assets, as well as a named power of attorney or executor. If you divorced your partner within the last year, it’s likely you do not want your ex-spouse retaining any sort of power of attorney in the event that you become incapacitated. As such, you may wish to remove them from your estate plan. Further, you may wish to set up a trust for minor children to appoint someone other than your former spouse to manage their inheritance.

Asset Acquisition

You may have made some significant purchases within the last year, such as a vehicle or a home. If so, it is important to add those assets to your estate plan and designate to whom those assets will be distributed upon your passing. Continuing to update your plan in this way helps to prevent those assets from being distributed in probate. As you are already reviewing financial documents during tax season, this can be an excellent time to update your records to your estate plan.

Ask Questions of an Attorney

If you are uncertain of what adjustments you should make to your estate plan at the beginning of the year, you should consult with an attorney who has helped others create estate plans and can guide you. At Laubacher & Co., our team is prepared to help you work through your estate plan to create something that will offer both you and your family a great deal of protection and a sense of security.

Get in touch with our estate planning attorneys today by calling (440) 336-8687 or by visiting our website.