Though the events of 2021 have been far less shocking, for the most part, than 2020, things still aren’t certain. A lot of people are still working from home, and it seems like there is a new variant of Covid-19 every other month. The year has been unstable, to say the least, and it begs the question: are you protected?
Having an estate plan is an essential for your safety. If you have an estate plan, you’ll be able to protect your assets and set up your loved ones so that they are not blindsided when you die. In this article, we’ll talk about one of the most important facets of estate planning: the review.
Reviewing Your Estate Plan
Many people make sure that they review their estate plan regularly, planning out a time for the review so that they don’t miss anything. The rule of thumb is to review your estate plan every three to five years. However, that’s not the only time you and your attorney should give it a look. You should also review your estate plan whenever there is a major life event.
What Qualifies as a Major Life Event?
This one is pretty subjective—after all, a major life event for you might not be one for someone else, and vice versa. Divorce, marriage, new babies, deaths, illnesses, and similar circumstances are all examples of when you want to review your estate plan. These major life events can change the course of your plans.
For example, if you’re getting a divorce, you’ll want to take your ex-spouse off documents like life insurance as the beneficiary. If there is a new baby in the family, you might want to add an heir to your posthumous asset plan. Should you fall ill, there are a host of new documents, from last wills and testaments to living wills, that you will likely need in order to be prepared.
Other Reasons to Review
A major life event and a regular schedule are not the only reasons you should review your estate plan. If you’re worried that parts of the estate plan are not completed appropriately (for example, your will doesn’t follow the rules of Florida law), you should have it checked out by another attorney. Self-completed wills often need to be checked by a lawyer, as there are a lot of little technicalities that these documents could have missed.
Also, if you’re moving to a different state, you need to transfer your estate plan. You don’t have to throw it out and start from scratch—that’s not necessary—but you do have to make sure it conforms to the law of the state in which you will be living. The best way to do this is to contact an estate planning attorney who resides in your new state and explain your situation.
Benefits of Estate Plan Reviewing
The main benefit of reviewing your estate plan is that you won’t be caught unawares. You might think that you can put off this process or that you’ll “get to it nearer to the end,” but you don’t want to wait. Waiting can lead to people being left out of the will as heirs, and it can even lead to will contests after the fact. An estate plan is not something you should procrastinate creating, nor is reviewing it something you should wait on either.
It might be tempting to cut corners, but you should absolutely expend what you need to hire legal counsel for your estate plan. This will ensure it is done correctly, saving you the time and money you’d spend if your plan was legally flawed. Contact WFP for questions, advice and to get your estate plan reviewed.