When should you change or update your estate plan?
Updated: Sep 27
Too many New Yorkers view estate planning as a one-and-done process. In fact, an estate plan can be a fluid set of legal documents that change and need to be changed over time. There are many life events that can cause a person to want or need to change their estate plan, and this post will discuss a few of those circumstances. However, whenever an individual has questions about estate planning, they can turn to their trusted estate and administration lawyers for answers.
Changes in marital status
One of the most common reasons that people must change their estate plans is when they divorce. At the end of a marriage, an individual may no longer want their soon-to-be ex to benefit from or have control of their estate. Going through a divorce or a remarriage can require a person to change beneficiaries, executors, and other designations on their wills, trusts, and non-probate accounts.
Changes in family size
The birth or adoption of a child can mean big changes for a childless couple’s estate plan. Suddenly new parents must contemplate how their child will be cared for, and by whom, in the unlikely event they are both unable to provide such support. As individuals grow their families, their estate plans may require updates.
Changes in the law
As previously discussed on this blog, the federal government may alter just how much of a person’s estate may be protected from taxation at the time of their death. If the government lowers the estate and gift tax thresholds, many individuals may want to reevaluate their estate plans to protect their wealth from taxation.
Estate plans can and should be changed when circumstances warrant. To better understand how and why these alterations should be made, readers may contact their knowledgeable local estate planning attorneys.