As life changes, Louisiana residents may need to revisit certain areas of their lives to ensure that the changes they face do not cause any discrepancies. For example, if you have created an estate plan, you may think that you and your family are set for the future. However, what will happen if you have another child or welcome a grandchild?
In many cases, people create an estate plan that fully suits their needs and circumstances in the moment. It is not unusual for these plans to remain applicable for a few to several years, but if you plan early — as you should — you may face various life changes before your plan goes into effect. As a result, updating your plan throughout your life is essential.
When should you update?
In general, it is wise to review and make any necessary changes to your estate plan every few years. In some cases, you may find that everything remains in order, or you could realize that you changed your mind about certain details. Of course, circumstances can prompt the need for an update before your routine review, and some of those circumstances include:
- You have your first child or welcome another child or grandchild. Updating your documents can ensure that this child is included.
- Your child is getting married. Your child’s spouse could have a claim to your assets in certain scenarios, and updating your plan could prevent that if desired.
- You are thinking about getting or have recently gotten a divorce. It is likely that you do not want your ex-spouse still named to important roles in your plan or still in line to receive your property.
- A beneficiary develops a substance abuse issue. Updating your plan after this occurrence could help you find the best way to help your beneficiary, such as by creating a trust that holds any assets until the beneficiary gets sober or reaches another milestone.
- Someone named in your estate plan, whether an executor, beneficiary, power of attorney or other party, dies. Updating your documents could avoid the confusion of determining who should take on the role or receive the assets that would have applied to the decedent.
- Laws have changed that affect taxes or other aspects of your estate plan.
As you can see, numerous instances exist in which you would be wise to take another look at your estate plan. If you ever have questions about whether an event could affect your plan, it is smart to double-check just in case.