Estate planning attorneys always emphasize the fact that making plans for the distribution of your assets after your death is an ongoing process. Many people procrastinate for years before taking the time to speak with an estate planning lawyer and create an initial plan. Since these folks took so long to address the matter in the first place it is especially hard to make them understand how important it is to recognize life events that trigger an estate plan update.
Why do people put off estate planning? Part of it involves the fact that coming fact to face with your own mortality can be disconcerting to some people and they would prefer not to think about it. But on a different level those who have no reason to think that they will be passing along any time soon view estate planning as something that can wait. The reality is that this is a gambler’s mentality because as they say on ESPN, we are all day-to-day.
The point is that you never know which day will be your last, so if you want to protect the interests of your loved ones it is important to recognize life events that trigger estate plan updates and take the appropriate action.
Marital Status Change
A change in marital status is probably the single most significant life event that can take place with regard to your estate plan. You should always consult your estate planning attorney when a change in marital status is imminent.
Additions & Subtractions To The Family
When someone is born into the family, or when someone passes away, you are probably going to want to revisit your estate plan. Also consider the impact the divorce of one of your children may have on your existing plan, especially if it is not amicable.
Significant Change In Financial Status
If you were to come into some money a great deal of it could be vulnerable to the estate tax under certain circumstances. If you have a significant change in your financial status you would do well to consult with your estate planning attorney sooner rather than later.