Life is unpredictable, and sometimes, significant life events can alter various areas of your life. Walking through these changes in life can be complex and even overwhelming, but you would be wise to remember how these changes could impact your estate plan. There are times during which a life event or changes in family dynamic could mean that it is necessary to adjust the terms of your will and other estate documents.
Changing or updating a will could be a smart move for you. Failure to do this could lead to complications for your beneficiaries in the future or issues with your health care if you are ever incapacitated. Wills and other documents may not provide the protection you need if they no longer accurately represent your wishes and objectives.
How do you know if you need a change?
Many people believe once they have a will in place, there is nothing else they need to do regarding their estate plan. In reality, estate plans often involve much more than just a will. It may be necessary to add other documents to an existing plan or change what you have in order to get the full amount of benefit from a plan. Some reasons why an update or addition to your will could be necessary include the following:
- You got married since the initial drafting of your plan, or you got divorced or remarried.
- You moved to a new state that handles property division and estate law differently.
- You now live with a partner but are not married to him or her.
- Because of adoption or birth of a child, you need to add beneficiaries to your estate plan.
- Your family has experienced change, and you need to adjust plans for guardians or representatives to act on your behalf.
- You have made significantly more money since the initial estate plan, or there has been a decrease in the overall value of your estate.
Even if there have been few or no significant life changes that could impact your estate plan, it is beneficial for you to carefully review these documents occasionally.
The right estate planning help you need
Making changes to an existing estate plan is a major legal and financial decision. It is beneficial to work with a Florida attorney who can help you understand your rights and make choices that are in your interests. If you are unsure of what changes may be necessary or simply want to review your existing plan, it may be helpful to start with a complete evaluation of your case before you move forward with any important choices.