Life events are those major events that we mark with celebrations, parties, and sometimes funerals. What they all have in common is that we record them with our loved ones. Consequently, they are also milestones that require some sort of financial update, like an Estate Planning Review.
Estate planning is one of the most important areas to review regularly, and it is one of the most overlooked. Below are a few areas that would required a review of your estate plan:
Marriage: If you get married this would require you to update your beneficiaries and provisions in your will to reflect your new spouse. You may also want to deal with property that came into the marriage prior to the nuptials.
Divorce or Death: Just as a new marriage triggers an estate review, so does the end of a marriage. You may want to change beneficiaries again, as well as Power of Attorney in the event of divorce or death of a spouse.
Home purchase or refinance: If you have a living trust, you may want to consider placing your home in it. It usually is the largest asset most of us have. Make sure if you refinance your home, with the historic low rates we have today, that you place the home back in the trust after the refinance.
New financial accounts: Make sure all bank account and brokerage accounts are updated with current beneficiaries. Naming a beneficiary on every account will help avoid probate just like a living trust. Make sure you do this on all of your financial accounts as you open them.
Changes with children: Having a baby, adopting or a new stepchild would all trigger the review of your estate planning documents. You have a new beneficiary! Make sure you update who will be their guardian in the event of your demise. A living trust can allow you to specify what ages the child inherits money rather than a will.
Just because you prepared that will years ago doesn’t mean that it is still up to date. You have to review this very important document at least every few years. If you would like a review of your estate plan, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at (859) 225-2596.