While it’s easy to assume that you don’t need to create an estate plan until your later years, life can be unpredictable. Even young married couples in their 20s and 30s may find that their estate planning efforts spring into action earlier than anticipated. As you meet with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss your specific needs, it’s important to recognize that you can (and should) update your estate plan as needed. If a significant amount of time has passed since you put your estate plan in place, or you haven’t looked it over in a while, now is the time to review your current estate plan to make sure it sufficiently addresses and protects your needs and your legacy. Below are three reasons why you should consider updating the estate plan you currently have in place.
1. An Individual Named in Your Will Has Passed Away
Perhaps you named a loved one as a beneficiary in your will when you created your estate plan several years ago. If that person has since passed away, you should update your will to reflect this change. There are also instances where someone divorces their spouse and remarries, but forgets to update the will to name the new spouse as the beneficiary. Whenever significant changes occur, it’s a good idea to revisit your will to ensure that these documents reflect your new circumstances.
2. New Challenges Arise
Couples who welcome a child often update their estate plans to reflect each new addition to their family. Sometimes, a child has special needs that may require long-term care, so it’s a good idea to explore your options for establishing a trust that’s specifically designed to support your special needs child, even after you are gone. Or, perhaps you suffer an unfortunate change in net worth; talk to your attorney about revising your estate plan to more accurately reflect your new financial reality.
3. Your Personal Wishes and Goals Change
When you establish an estate plan in your younger years, it’s possible that your views and wishes for your future will change over time. Perhaps you develop a strong passion for philanthropy in your later years and you become interested in leaving a portion of your estate to a beloved charitable organization. Or, you may have completed an advanced healthcare directive about your preferences on medical interventions and end-of-life care, but your views change and you wish to revisit these directives. Ultimately, it’s helpful to think about the estate planning process as a living and evolving one; reach out to your trusted estate planning attorney every once in a while so that you can trust that your future and legacy remain bright, no matter what the future may hold.
For more information about creating or updating your estate plan in the Spokane Valley area, call the knowledgeable long-term care planning attorneys at Legacy Law Group today at (509) 315-8087.