Four Signs It's Time to Update Your Estate Plan in the New Year
I am planning a spring wedding, should I consider an estate plan?
If you were recently engaged over the holidays, it may well be time to consider updates and changes to your estate plan. As a matter of fact, if you are like the majority of adult Americans and are without an estate plan altogether – it is definitely time to get started
Other Milestones that Indicate It's Time for an Estate Planning Update
You are expecting a child – Planning for a new baby involves more than nursery decorating and scheduling maternity leave. On a serious note, in the event of an accident leaving both parents incapacitated or deceased, a comprehensive estate plan can help ensure that surviving children are placed in the care of relatives or friends specifically selected by the parents. Such a plan also ensures the distribution of trust funds left to the children by their parents.
 You are anticipating divorce -- Though certainly not as happy an occasion as a marriage or the birth of a child, contemplating divorce also necessitates updating your estate plan. If you are anticipating a marital dissolution during the next year, it is important to change your Will and other pertinent documents so you do not leave your assets to the person you are about to divorce.
 You are planning to remarry – On a brighter note, if you are planning to remarry in 2016, be sure to place “estate planning updates” at the top of your to-do list. An old, outdated estate plan that makes no mention of a current spouse, stepchildren or new offspring, could quickly be invalidated all together, as the courts will assume the testator inadvertently forgot to add the missing family members.
 You recently experienced a loss – If the year 2015 included the death of a family member – particularly an immediate family member or spouse, it is definitely time to update your estate plan. If your spouse passed away, and your current Will or Trust leaves everything to him or her, it is necessary to re-evaluate your original plans to coordinate with your altered lifestyle. Sad as it is to contemplate, the death of a child should also trigger an estate planning update, particularly if that child was set to receive a large portion of your estate. The passing of any loved one to whom you were leaving even a small part of your estate, should be reworked in view of recent events.
If you expecting any major life changes in 2016, now is the time to consult with a competent estate planning attorney to bring all of your documents up to date.