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4 occasions on which you should adjust your estate plan

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Estate Planning

You must remember to keep your estate plan up to date. A quick check once every year or so can confirm whether you need to make adjustments, but some life changes are so significant they automatically merit an update.

Here are four of them:

1. You have a child

On becoming a parent, you should add your child to your estate plan. You can’t just rely on those you previously named as beneficiaries to split things with your new child of their own accord. You should also nominate a guardian for your child in case you and the other parent die before they turn 18.

2. You marry

When you marry someone, the law typically entitles them to a portion of your estate when you die. However, you might want to give them more than the minimum, and you can use your estate plan to outline this.

If you have children from another relationship, you can ensure they will still inherit, should that be your wish. A typical method is asking your spouse-to-be to sign a prenuptial renouncing any right to certain assets you want to keep for your kids.

3. You divorce

When you divorce someone, they lose their automatic entitlement to part of your estate. However, they’ll still get any assets earmarked for them in your will, a beneficiary designation or another place. You’ll need to alter those documents to remove them. If your ex is your power of attorney, you might want to change that, too.

4. You lose someone

If a beneficiary dies, remove them from your estate plan to avoid confusion. If you lose your executor, the guardian you had named for your children or someone you’d given power of attorney to, you should replace them.

If your estate plan needs updating, consider getting help to make the changes in the correct manner.