By: Vidhya Babu
You have an estate plan. In fact you just created one last year. So why would your estate plan need a makeover? Estate plans should never be rigid or concrete. Instead they should be malleable and easily adapted to meet your current situation. After all, an estate plan you created a year ago (or longer) may not reflect your current situation. In the event that something should happen to you, an out-of-date estate plan can cause contention and strife among beneficiaries.
When deciding whether your estate plan needs a makeover, ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you recently move to a new house, city or state?
- Since creating your estate plan have you sold or bought any real estate or other property?
- Did a loved one pass away?
- How is your health? Has it declined substantially since the creation of your estate plan?
- Since your last will was signed, have you had any children?
- Have you recently been married?
- Have any of your children become recently married?
- Have you recently become a grandparent?
- Has contention developed with you and anyone close to you? Specifically, persons you named as executor or beneficiaries of your estate?
Even a minor change in your circumstances can affect the legacy you leave behind to your loved ones. Everyone who creates an estate plan should make habit of performing an annual estate plan checkup. By consulting with an experienced attorney, you can find out immediately if your plan is up-date and if it is an accurate and valid reflection of your current situation.
Vidhya Babu is a partner in Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu. Her practice emphasis includes estate planning, probate, trust administration, trust and probate litigation, business and real estate matters. http://www.fox-shjeflo.com/