Life changes on a constant basis. Relationships change, families change, work and careers change. You need to make sure your estate plan changes, too, to reflect the ebbs and flows of life.
Many people make the many critical decisions required to create an estate plan that will protect their loved ones, no matter what happens. They fail to update the plan, however, leaving their estate vulnerable and their loved ones at risk.
The following circumstances signal a need to review your estate plan, re-evaluate and make adjustments and updates, as necessary:
- Divorce, legal separation or the death of a spouse
- Births or adoptions within the family, both of children and of grandchildren
- Medical circumstances, particularly chronic illness or disability
- Significant changes in assets, real estate or investments
- Adjustment to life insurance policies
- Deaths in the family
- Taking on debt or significant borrowing
- Changes in business investments, partnerships, ownership or shareholder agreements
Following these life events, sit down with a lawyer who understands how the recent developments could affect your estate and your plan for the future. This could include tax implications, how much money will be available to loved ones, how the estate would pay off a significant debt and which assets would be vulnerable, as well as solutions for structuring your estate in a prudent manner.
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