When to Update Your Estate Plan
• Marriage or dissolution of marriage
• Additions to your family
• Someone named in your Will predeceases you
• Your children are grown or married
• You move to a new state, or your state's laws change
• A change in the value or nature of your estate
• You retire
• It's just been a few years
● Children from a previous marriage become co-owners of the surviving spouse's home.
● If your heir dies a week after you, your property will pass through them, and then to their heirs, with each transfer requiring a separate
● A court may have to supervise the distribution of your property, which can be costly
● Your estate's administrator may have to post a bond.
● If you own property in another state, your estate's administrator may have to go through the other state's probate process in addition to ours.
● In the most extreme cases, all your property could go to the state.
● Not having a valid estate plan results in unintended consequences, and can easily be more expensive than the cost of creating one.
● The ability to control your assets long after you are gone
● Tax benefits
● Shielding assets from creditors
● Providing for someone (including yourself) who is disabled or has special needs
● Leaving behind assets that are difficult to divide
● Charitable donations
● A Living Will directs your end-of-life care if you are not able to do so.
● Powers of Attorney and Designations of Agents or Guardians give certain people the authority to do particular things on your behalf.
● HIPAA releases allow other people access to your medical records.
● Additional instructions for organ donation and your funeral, if you are so inclined.
The Risks of Doing It Yourself
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