Creating estate plan documents is important, but things may go wrong if you fail to update them. Any significant change in your family or financial situation warrants an estate plan update. If you do not review your estate plan, your current wishes may not be in writing.
If any of the following events take place, you should analyze and make update your estate plan, including any wills, trusts, powers of attorney and beneficiary designations.
If your marriage ends, you should take another look through your estate plan. You probably do not want to give assets or responsibilities to an ex-spouse. Revise your estate planning documents as soon as your divorce is finalized so that your new goals are in writing.
Marrying or re-marrying does not automatically change the details of your will. After your wedding, you will probably want to include your new spouse in your will. You may consider naming your spouse as executor, leaving him or her some assets or designating your spouse as a beneficiary on your pay-on-death accounts.
3. New child
If you have children, either by birth or adoption, it is likely you want them to inherit some of your estate. Make sure you include your children as heirs and consider appointing a legal guardian to take care of them if you die or become incapacitated.
4. Starting or selling a business
Any change to your assets should trigger a change in your estate plan. For instance, if you start a business, you probably want to make a succession plan for it. If you sell a company, you will want to account for the new capital in your plan and seek to reduce the tax burden for your beneficiaries.
Make sure you make necessary updates to your estate plan whenever any major financial or personal event occurs.