Many people make the mistake of creating an estate plan and then never revisiting it. While it may seem like they’ve done their due diligence simply by creating an estate plan, there are several life events that can create the need for a change in an existing estate plan. If you are a San Jose, California resident who has an estate plan on file, you should be aware of some major life events that can create the need for an update in your plan.
Going through a divorce is an emotionally and mentally taxing time, and you may be so caught up in the stress of the process that you don’t think about your estate plan. However, if your soon-to-be ex is listed as your power of attorney and the beneficiary on any life insurance accounts, you should make sure that you file the necessary paperwork to change those designations. Most people don’t want their former spouse making serious decisions on their behalf or inheriting the entirety of their life insurance policy.
The death of a beneficiary
If someone who is listed as a beneficiary in your estate plan passes away, you will need to make changes to the estate plan regarding their inheritance. In many cases, the death of a beneficiary before the testator results in the gift being put back into the estate. However, if you want to ensure that every asset in your estate goes to someone you love, you should make adjustments accordingly if a beneficiary passes away before you.
Birth of a child or grandchild
If you have any new children or grandchildren, you should include them in your estate plan as soon as possible. It can be tempting to put it off, but the future is largely unknown and responsible estate planning involves being up to date at all times. Instead of waiting for any new children or grandchildren to get older, get them in your estate plan as quickly as possible and make sure that the assets you’re leaving them are funded.
Your attorney can help you make any necessary changes to your estate plan. If you experience any of these life events or some other significant change, let your lawyer know as quickly as possible so he or she can help you update your estate plan.