It is a good idea to take a look at your estate plan every so often to make sure that it is up-to-date, but some events create legal consequences that could make it necessary to make edits right away. Some things can make your legal papers invalid and unenforceable, while others could result in your money going to the wrong people.
A Minnesota estate planning attorney can help you evaluate the life events that should trigger a review of your estate plan.
Children and Grandchildren
When you or your partner give birth or adopt a child, you should update your will or living trust to include that child. While many wills and trusts might refer in general to “afterborns,” the cost of having to deal with that issue in the probate court could cost your estate more money than revising the papers.
When you become a grandparent, you will want to update your estate plan to include each grandchild as they are born or adopted. You would not want to unintentionally disinherit a beloved grandchild.
If you experience the death of a child or grandchild, you should sit down with your estate planning lawyer to make the necessary changes to your documents. Some people choose to leave everything to their surviving children, but if your deceased child or grandchild was a parent, you might want the surviving grandchild or great-grandchild to receive the deceased parent’s share.
All real estate that you own should get addressed in your will or trust. You need to decide if you want to give the property to one or more people, or if you want your estate to sell the property and distribute the proceeds to whomever you choose. When you buy or sell real estate, you need to update your estate plan.
If you buy an interest in a business or launch a start-up, your estate plan should cover what happens to the company when you die. Think about whether you want the business to get sold or give it to someone to keep it going. Also, when you sell a business or any other significant asset specifically named in your current will, you should update your estate plan accordingly.
Marriage and Divorce
When you marry or divorce someone, some of your existing estate plans could be invalid automatically. To make sure that your estate has a valid will or trust and that your new spouse gets included in the distribution without having to go through an intestacy proceeding, you need to update your estate plan. Your estate is intestate if you die without a valid will.
You might want to change the beneficiaries on your life insurance, retirement account, and will or trust when you marry or divorce. Also, at those times, you might want to designate a different person to serve as the trustee of your living trust, executor of your will, power of attorney, and health care proxy.
Moving to Another State
When you move to another state, you should review your estate planning documents to make sure that they comply with the new state’s requirements. The laws can be very different from one state to another.
A Minnesota estate planning attorney can review your estate plan and write the necessary revisions. Contact our office today.