1. Marriage: Starting a life with your spouse brings with it many life-altering changes. But during this exciting time of wedding planning, honeymoon booking and even preparing for the eventual arrival of children, it’s vital that you don’t forget to keep your estate plan up to date. Doing so allows you to name your new spouse as an emergency contact or beneficiary for existing insurance benefits, and to ensure that he or she is taken care of in the event of your death.
2. Divorce: Splitting up a marriage can be messy and costly. Updating your estate plan following the dissolution of a marriage is vital to ensure that your assets are split as per your wishes. Many people take their ex completely out of the equation, while some prefer to leave them something in their will. No matter what your decision may be, it is incredibly important to get your wishes on paper as soon as possible.
3. Cash Infusion: If you receive a large salary increase at work or come into money through inheritance or chance, you’ll want to update your estate plan to accommodate a larger bank account.
4. Having a Baby: Adding on to your family is a joyous occasion that calls for immediate alterations to your estate plan. Your new addition needs to become a beneficiary, and guardians must be named in your will. (This is also a great time to draft a will if you haven’t yet!) As you add on to your family over the years, you should continuously update your estate plan.
5. A Death in The Family: If you outlive some of the people named in your estate plan, you will need to update once again. If your Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, or Executor passes away you will need to name new ones. Also, should a beneficiary die, their inheritance should be reallocated immediately to other living heirs.
6. Sickness: If you are diagnosed with a chronic or fatal illness you should begin planning before your condition worsens. As per your estate plan, you can decide who will make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you become physically unable. You can also use this opportunity to fill out a Do Not Resuscitate order if your state allows it.
7. Changing Laws and Locations: Federal and state laws are constantly in flux and can impact your estate plan. Also, since different states have different laws, it is important to check with a legal professional once you move to a new area to see if any changes need to be made to your existing plan.
The Orlando Law Group stands at the ready to aid in crafting and maintaining viable estate plans. To speak with an attorney, call 407.512.4394.