Eight Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

An estate plan is an essential part of planning for the future. But don’t think creating a Will is a one-time proposition. Even if you have an estate plan, it may need to be update your estate plan for a variety of reasons. For example:

  1. Births – Once parents have children, their Wills should be amended immediately to include the names of guardians to care for the children in the event the parents die prematurely. Also, parents or grandparents might wish to restructure their estate plans concerning distribution of assets after children are born. The use of a Trust may be recommended.
  2. Deaths – If individuals named as beneficiaries or fiduciaries have died or become incapacitated, an estate plan should be changed.
  3. Marriage – Wedding bells usually signal the need to review an estate plan. Which assets should pass to your spouse? Are stepchildren involved? If this isn’t spelled out in a Will or Trust, state law will control the disposition of your assets. In Michigan, a surviving spouse doesn’t always take the entire estate absent directions to that effect. Also, keep in mind that an unmarried couple living together may want to leave assets to each other but in order to make an inheritance happen, it must be spelled out in a Will or Trust.
  4. Divorce – In Michigan, a divorce automatically revokes a Will or those provisions concerning an ex-spouse. If you get divorced, it is best to have a new Will or Trust drafted. However, you still must remove your former spouse as a primary beneficiary on life insurance and retirement accounts directly for it to be effective. In addition, you may want to change the beneficiary of your other assets, such as a pension or other investment accounts. Consider the use of a Trust if children from a previous marriage are involved. You may also want to update your estate plan if one of your children gets divorced.
  5. Retirement – Retiring may also trigger the need to update your estate plan. Are you selling your home? Moving to another state? State laws can vary widely.
  6. Asset fluctuations – Revisions may be needed if the value of your assets has increased or decreased significantly, or they are no longer owned.
  7. Military deployment – If you are actively engaged in the military and may be sent overseas, you should ensure that you update your estate plan and powers of attorney in place for your personal business to be taken care of in your absence.
  8. Tax law revisions – The Internal Revenue Code is regularly changed. A Trust should be designed to take advantage of maximum tax benefits that exist today. Thus, it may have to be updated as tax laws change.

The Probate Pro’s innovative approach to probate and trust related services is unparalleled. Our approach uniquely positions us to achieve outstanding results.  We take great pride in being the leading probate and trust law firm providing administration, litigation, and estate planning services.

Questions? We love to help. We offer free answers to questions that you have. We are passionate about solving all your probate and trust problems and experienced to handle the most difficult ones. Don’t be shy…Call us at (248) 399-3300.